Pundit: Forget about Arsene Wenger, Arsenal have to keep this player

Garth Crooks says it is imperative Arsenal keep Alexis Sanchez at the north London club, more so than manager Arsene Wenger

Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez Photo: Alexis Sanchez/Instagram

Garth Crooks says it is more important Arsenal keep Alexis Sanchez rather than Arsene Wenger.

The Chile international has endured a mixed third season in the Premier League after Arsenal signed Sanchez in a £35m deal from La Liga giants Barcelona in the 2014 summer transfer window.

Sanchez has scored 21 goals and has made nine assists in what is his best return for a Premier League campaign since his big-money switch to the English capital three seasons ago.

However, the South American was reported to have fallen out with Wenger earlier this season, while Sanchez has failed to agree a contract extension with the north London club.

Sanchez has been linked with a controversial move to Premier League champions Chelsea in the summer with just over 12 months to go on the forward’s current Arsenal deal.

Writing in his BBC Sport column about Sanchez and Wenger’s futures at Arsenal, former Spurs striker Crooks had a warning for the Arsenal board.

“Regardless of whether Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger goes or stays, it will not have the same bearing on the club should they lose Alexis Sanchez,” Crooks said.

“Not only is the Chilean a genuinely world-class footballer, he is the inspiration behind the team and has been for the best part of this season. His performance against Southampton in midweek, not to mention his goal, was simply superb.

Crooks added: “He then turns up at Stoke on Saturday, no place for the faint-hearted, and destroys them. Sanchez’s link-up play with Mesut Ozil, when the German is in the mood, is like watching Trevor Brooking and Kevin Keegan when they played for England – they just know where each other is.

“It clear to me that Arsenal Football Club have some big decisions to make about who stays and who goes. For my money, Sanchez stays. You can work the rest out.”

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