London (AFP) – Arsene Wenger says his star forward Alexis Sanchez has the mentality to deliver for Arsenal despite suffering the disappointment of an aborted transfer to Manchester City.
The London club reportedly agreed a fee for the Chilean forward on transfer deadline day, only for the deal to collapse after Wenger was unable to complete a move for Monaco winger Thomas Lemar.
But Wenger believes Sanchez is in the right mental state to respond positively for Arsenal as they prepare to take on Bournemouth on Saturday following a 4-0 drubbing at Liverpool.
“I have no doubt about Alexis’s mind and mentality,” the Frenchman said of the player who scored 30 times last season. “People question and he needs to come back to full fitness, not what he was at Liverpool.
“It was his first game. He had a negative experience with Chile and will be back quickly to his best.”
Sanchez looked miserable during Arsenal’s 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool prior to the international break and then suffered successive defeats with Chile in World Cup qualifying.
“I believe the transfer market is over and for us there was a lot going on,” said Wenger, whose side are languishing towards the bottom of the Premier League table after a poor start to the season.
“My view is it is very difficult to speak about that because Lemar is at Monaco and focuses there and Sanchez is here and focuses here. After that we have to keep a certain confidentiality about transfer negotiations and the transfer market is part of that. Many things happen in the last second what I regret.”
English Premier League clubs voted on Thursday to close the 2018 close-season transfer window before the start of the 2018-19 campaign.
“It is important to change that before the championship starts,” said Wenger, speaking at his weekly press conference at Arsenal’s London Colney training base. “Players have no clarity. Are they in or are they out?
“Are they half in and half out? Are they tapped up in the afternoon of the game by people who want to get them out? It’s not the way to work. It’s time to kick that out before the season and not have players in the dressing room half out and half in.”
– Oxlade-Chamberlain –
When asked if the decision to sell England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wenger responded: “I wouldn’t call it like that. We wish him well and all the best and thank him. You make decisions. You choose one or the other.
“We had to sell somebody. Overall we are in a strong financial position as always. That does not take away the quality of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but that opens the door for younger players to get an opportunity they won’t get.”
Wenger refused to confirm whether Jack Wilshere, who spent last season on loan at Bournemouth, will make his long-awaited Arsenal return after injury against his former club.
“I haven’t decided who will be in the squad,” said Wenger. “He still needs some fitness work but is in a positive trend.”
Wenger also revealed positive news on Santi Cazorla, who is set to return to training following over a year out injured.
Bournemouth are pointless after three games but have boosted by the news that Tyrone Mings and Charlie Daniels have both signed new contracts this week.
Full back Daniels, who has made over 200 appearances for the south coast club, said: “It’s all happened so quickly.
“I’ve been at the club for six years now, so staying here was a simple decision. I couldn’t wait to sign the contract and see what the next few years bring.
“This is a great club and it’s a brilliant time to be a part of it.”