Alexis Sanchez is the leading man in his own soap opera as the newspapers write about him and his future on a daily basis, despite the fact that nothing has really happened since the last season ended.
The latest development is that the Chilean has returned to training with Arsenal on Tuesday and went through some fitness drills that every player has to do on their first day back. The Standard report that he will continue to train alone over the coming days until his fitness has been properly assessed.
It will be relieving for supporters to see the attacker back in Arsenal training gear as we approach the new season. Their opening match against Leicester City is just over a week away and they will be hoping that Sanchez can prove his fitness in time to start on that day. The pictures of the player are reassuring as he looks focused on the task at hand with his mind firmly on the Gunners. Although there are no signs of unhappiness, this saga is far from over.
Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their recruitment this summer as their attempts to move squad players on have failed for the most part. Wojciech Szczesny is the only one to find a new club and until more players are sold, the Gunners are hamstrung in the market, due to the current wage-bill.
The Daily Mail report that Jack Wilshere, David Ospina, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Lucas Perez, Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy have all been told that they can move on. If they all do leave the club, it will slash £19 million off the wage bill and give Arsene Wenger more room to manoeuvre in the market.
The club will be aware of the importance of moving on fringe players as there are no benefits to keeping players that are no longer required. They won’t be in the first-team picture and they could potentially cause problems on the training ground if they prove to be a disruptive influence.
There are clubs interested in some of the players, but Arsenal’s demands and their current salary are both proving to be a problem. The next month is crucial for the financial health of the club and they may need to lower their demands to ensure at least a few of them move on.
The Community Shield is going to be played at the weekend between Arsenal and Chelsea. It sees a repeat of the FA Cup final and the Gunners will be keen to get one over on their rivals. Although the match means little, it provides an opportunity to get one over the Blues early and that can only provide positive momentum.
The Mirror report that Laurent Koscielny will be available, despite being sent off in the final league match of last season. The FA consider this match to be a friendly, which is why the Frenchman can play.
This may seem like good news, but Arsenal would have preferred that this counted towards the suspension, as it would have allowed Koscielny to return to action in the second league game of the season. Instead, he will be allowed to play a meaningless match at Wembley. It is doubtful whether Wenger will select him to start, as it could be a good opportunity to give minutes to the defence that will start the season against Leicester.