I tried really hard to work the Spice Girls song 2 Become 1 into the headline, but it just did not work. Sorry for letting you all down.
Personally I have felt since December last year that this season will be the last he has at Arsenal. Throughout his career he has shown he is unable to remain at a club for longer than 3 years. He certainly has a 3 year itch. He has also never signed a 2nd contract at a club. He is off.
So then it comes to replacing him.
Replacing someone as uniquely talented as Alexis Sanchez is impossible to do. You can not just pick up players like him with his skill and desire, off the shelf. There is not a single player in the world that would replace him. So rather than look at a single replacement, perhaps we should be looking at 2 replacements (and maybe even 3?).
Rather than sign 1 player to replace Sanchez, you look beyond that and sign two players that improve the first XI.
Let’s take Kylian Mbappe to start with. Rumours are that Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger are currently in Monaco to try and secure the young Frenchman’s signing. Now personally I think his cost is ludicrous for a player who has proven so little, but he will at least get some positivity into the club. And will surely be an improvement on Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck.
Talk is that if a deal for Mbappe is completed, Sanchez will leave the next day. The only reason we are happy spending so much on the Frenchman is due to the cash coming in from Sanchez. It is money that is outside out war chest, and therefore will have no impact on other targets.
So Mbappe up top, it then leaves a Sanchez size hole behind to be filled. This could be done by Riyad Mahrez.
Whilst Mahrez is no as good as Alexis Sanchez, the bigger picture needs to be looked at:
Whilst Sanchez is the stand out player, bringing in both Mahrez and Mbappe is exiting. We might get weaker in a single position, but potentially stronger in the front 3.
Then we have the third option. With Sanchez’s destination likely to be Bayern Munich, could Arsenal make a move for Renato Sanches to come the other way? A talented central midfielder who has struggled in Germany this season, he would certainly provide the drive and muscle next to Granit Xhaka in the middle of the par.
Losing Sanchez is not great, but we have lost better before, and will lose better again. The important thing this summer if we do lose a single player is that we make the overall team stronger.