Arsenal seem to have finally put behind their poor start, steadily making their way up the league table. They ended Gameweek 7, having won all of their league games at home, and placed 5th in the standings. Positive signs it may seem, but every week that goes by inches us closer to the January transfer window.
Both of Arsenal’s biggest stars, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are into the final years in their respective contracts, meaning they could be allowed to go for free if they don’t sign an extension before 30th June 2018. Logic would dictate that Arsenal tie them both to a new contract, rather than risk losing them for free, but judging by the stance taken up by either of them, they seem to be willing to force a move away from the Emirates.
Mesut Ozil has cut a forlorn figure in almost every Arsenal loss. The sight of the dejected German international heading towards the tunnel after every loss has become pretty common of late. He’s often accused of not having a heart, deserting the pitch and the fans after a shambolic team performance. Calling the criticism harsh would be justified, but a bit of introspection would point fingers to his hunger to win more than just matches. Since he made the move to Arsenal in 2013, the team have failed to cut down their league drought, which now stands at 13 years. While success in the FA Cup does count, it is not enough for a player of Ozil’s caliber. Soon to turn 29, there’s no better time for Ozil to make the switch.
Same can be said about Alexis Sanchez too. The Chilean looked set to join Manchester City on deadline day, but a few technicalities hampered the move from falling through. His departure from the club seems imminent in the next transfer window.
With two of their star players all but set to make a move, Arsenal need to identify alternatives soon.
The signing of Neymar and Mbappe has dropped Julian Draxler down the pecking order, and Arsenal may finally get their man after all these years of courtship. He would seamlessly fit into the Arsenal system, offering more flexibility than Ozil given his experience in playing down the wings.
Alexis Sanchez will be the one who will be difficult to replace. An attacking option that Arsenal may consider, given the fact that they did try to sign him in the previous transfer window is Thomas Lemar. Arsene confirmed that the club’s pursuit of the Frenchman will continue in the next transfer window.
So, will that be Draxler and Lemar in place of Ozil and Sanchez, we shall have to wait and watch.