Arsenal are being urged to consider a deal to re-sign a former star set to be made available on a free transfer in the January transfer window.
The Gunners made a sorry start to the new season, losing three straight games to pile the early pressure on Mikel Arteta. But a grinding 1-0 win over Norwich appears to have kickstarted their season. Indeed, a satisfying 3-1 win over Tottenham on Sunday lifted them above their rivals courtesy of a third straight win.
However, there remains plenty of room for improvement for Arteta’s side. As such, the acid test will rest on their final league position and whether they can qualify for Europe once again.
And having spent well over £125m in the summer, the squad rebuilding is likely to continue in the January.
Indeed, the Gunners are likely to make changes to their forward line as an urgent priority. To that end, both Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are likely to be move on. The strike pair will both have six months remaining on their deal and their exits, for nominal fees, are possible.
And their exits will leave Arsenal with space to improve their attack. And with Alexis Sanchez reportedly available on a free in January, the Gunners have been linked.
Reports have indicated that Sanchez will be allowed to leave the San Siro in January.
The Chilean, 32, became one of world football’s most tenacious attackers during a superb three-and-a-half year stint with Arsenal.
A high-profile switch to Manchester United materialised, but things quickly turned sour. Both Sanchez and United were publicly derided with the move bringing little in the way of tangible returns. A humbling loan exit to Inter arose before the move was made permanent last year.
However, he has rarely hit the heights in Italy and his high wages there remain an issue. As such, the Daily Mirror reported last week that a free transfer will be granted in January.
Now former Arsenal star Kevin Campbell claims a return to Emirates Stadium would be welcome. Speaking to Football Insider, he claims Arteta could yet rekindle the Chilean’s old magic if a move to transpire.
“Alexis Sanchez was incredible when he came to Arsenal but personally, I cannot see him coming back.
“Is he talented? Of course he is. But he has not been the same since he left.
“The Manchester United move was a disaster for him. He has gone to Inter Milan and it has not quite worked out there either, even though they won the title.”
Adding a strong note of caution, Campbell added: “I don’t think we’ll take him back. But if you could get him for nothing and he is willing to graft… Who knows what Mikel Arteta will do.
“It is a fantasy and a nice thought but I think the club have moved on. I doubt we will see that happening.”
Arsenal star makes trophy declaration
The Gunners initially looked to be back on track under Arteta when winning the FA Cup and Community Shield in 2020. But they have been plagued with inconsistency since.
Even so, the win in the derby has restored some optimism and left one of their players targeting trophies.
Bukayo Saka, one of the goalscorers on Sunday, said of their young squad: “We can achieve anything, no matter what age. With age comes experience but we have a lot of experience in this squad anyway which helps us.
“We have a lot of quality and enough experience to achieve a lot. We’re going to take it game by game but if we play like this we have enough quality to win trophies.
“I can’t really describe how good it feels. Starting with the atmosphere in the stadium — it was crazy! The fans gave us so much energy and, for us to repay them and win like this at the stadium, it just means everything for us.
“It’s been almost two years since we played a north London derby with the fans. And you could tell it’s been nearly two years by the way they received us and cheered us. It was a special game.
“We all wanted it. We knew how much the game meant to the fans, we knew how much the game meant to us. And of course to build winning momentum — we’ve won three games in a row — is really good for us.
“We’re getting closer as a team, getting more team spirit, so things are looking good.
“If we play like that all the time, we have a strong chance of doing well this season and winning some trophies. This is one game, we have to do it again the next week and the next week.
“We get into a lot of good situations but we need to score more goals. Yesterday, we were a lot more clinical, so we’re happy with that but we’ve got to do it consistently.”