While the headlines scream for Arsene Wenger’s head and moan about the disastrous transfer window, it might be useful to imagine Wenger’s perspective on the whole process.
Wenger told us he wanted to keep Sanchez and didn’t mind running down his contract and that’s exactly what will happen. Not only that, but the Arsenal board which obviously wanted the money from the sale, can be told by Wenger that he tried, however Robert Lemar’s refusal scuttled the whole deal.
Would Lemar have replaced Sanchez right away as our new talisman? Probably not. It would have taken awhile for him to bed into the team and by then we could be in serious trouble.
Sanchez is a competitor, despite the paper’s hinting that he’ll boycott the team, and having him around is not the end of the world, even if he pouts.
Another achievement from yesterday is that Wenger kept Liverpool from getting Lemar. Lemar and Liverpool were close to an agreement until Arsenal came with the huge offer and muddied the waters. By the time everything fell apart, there was not time for Liverpool to get back in.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s transfer was not a disaster. Wenger obviously doesn’t think he’s ready to play in the middle and he was not going to grant the Ox that wish.
He obviously does rate him and his potential and he threw a lot of money at the Ox at the last minute, but the Ox was determined to leave. Even Chelsea couldn’t lure the Ox without the guarantee that he’ll play in the middle.
Liverpool gave that assurance and they’re paying him less than both Arsenal and Chelsea offered. In other words, the Ox was determined to leave.
Given the Ox’s injury and performance record over the past five years, thirty-five million pounds is good business.
Another of Wenger’s goals had been to reduce the squad size. This he largely was able to do, moving out Szczesny, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Gabriel, the Ox, Campbell and Perez.
Debuchy was mission impossible, given his huge contract, his injury history, and his age. Wilshere is a player he’d like to give another chance to, and I think he might have changed his mind on getting rid of Chambers.
One more challenge possibly awaits and that regards Ozil and whether Barcelona want a deal. If something comes up, the board will be sure to insist on him being sold.
Does Wenger have regrets? Yes. I’m sure he wishes he’d jumped on buying Lemar at the start of the summer when Monaco hadn’t sold anybody else, instead of pursuing Mbappe.
He probably regrets giving Lukas’s number nine shirt away, although Lukas was on his way out anyway.
He probably regrets how the whole situation around Mustafi and Inter Milan was handled.
He probably regrets handing such generous contracts out that moving players like Jenkinson, Gibbs, Debuchy, Wilshere, Theo, et al is next to impossible.
And he probably wishes he’d have a happier Alexis Sanchez coming back to the training ground next week. If they can turn their form around, all will be well as they return to being a happy well paid family.