London (AFP) – Arsene Wenger admits he is no nearer to establishing where Arsenal’s Chilean star Alexis Sanchez’s future lies.
Wenger praised the 29-year-old’s two-goal display that helped secure a 3-2 victory at Crystal Palace on an evening where the French manager equalled Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson’s Premier League record of 810 matches in charge.
Sanchez’s commitment has been questioned this season following his failure to reach agreement with the north London club about an extension to his current contract that expires at the end of this season.
Wenger believes the player’s performance at Selhurst Park showed there has been no let up in the player’s effort, but with the January transfer window about to open, has no idea about the player’s next move.
Sanchez scored his first goal in the 62nd minute but not all his team-mates celebrated the strike with him.
“First of all nobody knows what will happen really,” said Wenger.
“It’s difficult to speculate. At the moment we are focused on short-term, that means the next game (against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday) with the players committed and ready to fight.
“It’s not a guarantee of how long you stay somewhere. As long as you are somewhere, you give your best.
“I felt he was very good tonight from the first minute on, focused on the game. This kind of Sanchez is a great football player, as we know. That’s the kind of performance we want from him.”
– ‘Back in competitive shape’ –
Jack Wilshere — starting his fourth successive match his longest run in several years — is also in the final year of his contract and Wenger believes he too showed his remains committed to the cause.
“They are questioned, always, when people don’t have long contracts,” said Wenger.
“The best way to show they are committed is to give that kind of performance.
“Jack is coming back in competitive shape. He gives something to the team at the moment, and gave a good final ball for the third goal.”
Wenger said Arsenal and Wilshere are due to open talks in January.
“The situation is that we need to sit down with him. Beginning of January, it’s planned. There is no delay.
“I said we would sort out his situation in December, end of December, and so I told him we want to meet and sit down with him to talk about the future.
“Now we play today, we play on Sunday, we play on Wednesday. At the moment the focus has to be on the games.”
Palace manager Roy Hodgson was frustrated at his side’s defeat, their first in nine games, but relieved Wilfried Zaha was not punished more harshly after being shown a yellow card following an angry exchange with referee Michael Oliver at half-time.
“I think he (Zaha) felt hard done by in the first half. He was bundled over once or twice,” said Hodgson.
“It’s difficult for a manager really to make sensible judgements on whether the referee got it right or whether he had a case.
“You’re talking about one of the best referees in the country, someone I very much respect.
“I wasn’t creating as much fuss as Wilf was, but I wasn’t the one being bundled over.
“He did well to calm down at half-time to make sure any injustice he might have felt was channelled into his performance.”
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
- Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
- Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Barcelona seal double swoop for Kessie, Christensen
- Work to be completed well before World Cup: organisers
- Switzerland to Salford: Four days of groundhopping across Europe
- Phillips makes ‘dream’ move from Leeds to Man City
- Man Utd agree deal to sign Eriksen: reports
- Ronaldo misses Man Utd training for ‘family reasons’: reports
- Fulham sign Palhinha from Sporting Lisbon
- Jesus wants to emulate boyhood hero Henry after sealing Arsenal move
- Manchester City seal swoop for Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips
- Arsenal sign Gabriel Jesus from Man City