Arsenal: Sanchez dispute; midfielder to stay says father; Ozil buys new house
There seems to be a breakdown in communication between Arsenal and Chile, as the dispute over Alexis Sanchez’s fitness continues. The former Barcelona striker pulled out of training early this week with an injury described as a ‘low grade’ calf problem. Sanchez has remained with the Chile squad in the hope that he can recover in time to face Uruguay in a crucial World Cup qualifier on Tuesday. Arsene Wenger said he understood that it was a hamstring problem, adding to the confusion, and warned against making a ‘suicidal’ decision that could make things worse. However, a report in the Daily Express states that Sanchez is ready to defy his manager and take the field on Tuesday.
As much as this will concern the Frenchman and Arsenal fans, it is hardly a great surprise. Sanchez takes his international duties very seriously, and with Chile in a sticky spot in the qualifying group they are desperate to have one of their star men on the field. The group stages of European qualifying are a fairly sedate affair, but the South American qualifying consists of a competitive 10-team group containing Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia and others. Only four teams qualify automatically, so at least one good team is likely to miss out. The Gunners travel to Old Trafford immediately after the break, and even if Sanchez makes the squad it seems unlikely that he will be fully fit.
Elsewhere, Alex Iwobi’s father has expressed how happy his son is at Arsenal stating he would turn down Barcelona to stay at the Emirates. The Nigerian youngster burst into the first-team this spring and has established himself as Wenger’s first choice pick on the left flank. The 20-year-old has given Arsenal’s attack a nice fluidity and he is very adept at receiving the ball on the half turn and driving the game forward. Mesut Ozil and Sanchez enjoy a good relationship with Iwobi, and the trust they show him tells you everything you need to know about how highly they rate him. His father, Chuka, said:
“At this point in time, he is at the right place. He’s doing well at Arsenal, but should any club come for him now, the answer would certainly be no. For him now, it’s not about the money.
“So, should a club like Barcelona come with more money, he will certainly stay back at Arsenal because now it is not about him making money, it’s about him concentrating on his career, progressing and going on to the next stage.”
Finally, reports in The Sun say that Ozil is about to complete a £10 million purchase of a north London mansion; a possible sign that he is set to sign a new deal. The former Real Madrid midfielder’s current deal expires in 2018, but the noises coming out of the club have always been quite positive. Ozil seems to enjoy life in London, and has built up a real bond with Arsenal fans who stuck up for him when he was subjected to some quite intense criticisms in his first season in England.
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