Jamie Redknapp has told The Mail that he believes Arsenal’s future success could depend on them successfully tying down Alexis Sanchez to a new contract.
Sanchez, who signed in 2014, has a deal which expires in 2018, and Arsenal will not want it to get to next summer with the Chilean unsigned, as he will have just 12 months left on his deal.
Redknapp argues that Sanchez’s next move is pivotal to Arsenal, as it could either result in more star players joining him at the Emirates – or their best players choosing to follow his choice to leave.
He said: “He chipped in with two goals, taking his tally to three for the season, and it’s imperative that Arsenal can convince him to sign a new deal before his current contract runs out in 2018.
“It’s not just about how much he brings to the team; tying him down would be a statement of intent and help the club to add more world-class talent.
“They’ll find it very difficult to do so if they start losing their best players again, as occurred when Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri and Alex Song all left in the space of two seasons.”
This was a painful time for Arsenal to endure, and one which saw them struggle to retain a place in the top four. Since Sanchez signed, it has been more comfortable for the Gunners in this regard, even if they have been unable to take the next step and challenge closely for the title.
Sanchez leaving would make it hard for Arsenal to be taken seriously as title challengers, and while the Gunners will not want to be held to ransom from a financial perspective, it makes sense to pull out all the stops to tie down their star player.
Once they do so, the plus side will be as Redknapp points out, they can concentrate their efforts on bringing in more top players to the club, rather than worrying about the flow of their star men departing.