Alexis Sanchez may have rescued a valuable Champions League point against Paris Saint Germain on Tuesday night, but some intriguing details of his relationship with Arsene Wenger have been leaked.
According to the well-connected John Cross at The Daily Mirror, Wenger sat Sanchez down in the summer and told him he must learn to accept rest and rotation.
The Chilean’s energy and enthusiasm make him a firm favourite among the fans, but it seems Arsenal’ longest serving manager has found him a hard to handle.
Sanchez would rush back to training too quickly after injuries and reacted angrily to being substituted, even driving home after one game.
Moreover, Wenger has told him that he plans to use him in central positions because he deems him too selfish to play on the wing and was unhappy by his lack of tracking back.
Arsenal are in contract negotiations with the former Barcelona striker, with Cross’ report stating that Sanchez wants a buy-out clause fitted into any new contract.
That could prove to be a major stumbling block; such clauses are commonplace in Spain but it is hard to recall Arsenal letting a player sign this type of deal.
Tuesday’s result was a good one for Arsenal, but the amount of chances they conceded is a genuine cause for concern and Lee Dixon has waded in with some criticism of his own.
Speaking on ITV’s Champions League highlights show, Dixon said: “It’s totally a balance thing for me. With the ball we’re brilliant, but without it absolutely shocking, they don’t know what they’re doing.
“There’s problems without the ball, it’s been like this for years now.
“(In the) 80th minute, they’ve just got back in the game, they’re not pressing. Cavani should score another goal. (They were) great with the ball, great point, well done, but that can’t go on.”
Arsenal’s tactic of trying to hold a high line against Cavani and Angel Di Maria was extremely foolish and they were fortunate that the Uruguayan was so profligate and that David Ospina made some great saves.
Finally, the Gunner’s new striker Lucas Perez has been talking about his experience with Karpaty Lviv and Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine and how that spell in his career toughened him up.
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, he said: “It was a good experience because leaving Spain to go to Ukraine taught me a lot about life. It helped me to figure out what I wanted, to mature and to grow as a person and as a footballer.
“It really helped me on a personal level, but it wasn’t a great experience. It was very hard – there were some tough times.
“I realised that what I really wanted to do was to go to the Spanish league, the Premier League or another big league and play for a big team like Arsenal. My dream was to play in the Premier League or La Liga.”
An interesting feature of Arsenal’s transfer business this summer is that they have signed three club captains; Lucas, Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi.
Wenger’s team have frequently been criticised for lacking character and leadership, and though these factors may well be overplayed, it seems they have influenced his recruitment policy.
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