Alexis Sanchez is not the sort of player who would “down tools” as Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger makes a decision on whether to let him leave, according to former Gunners defender Martin Keown.
Arsenal have already moved to strengthen their squad with the addition of France forward Alexandre Lacazette in a club-record deal from Lyon following the free transfer of left-back Sead Kolasinac from Schalke.
Monaco’s Thomas Lemar is said to now top Wenger’s wanted list, but departures are also expected before any more new arrivals, with Olivier Giroud a reported target for both Everton and West Ham.
The futures of key men Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, though, also remain uncertain.
Both players will be out of contract in a year’s time and Chile forward Sanchez has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester City, who are said to be ready to offer wages of some £400,000 per week.
Keown was part of Wenger’s squad which won the Double in both 1997/98 and 2001/02.
The former England centre-back, 50, sees no reason why his old boss would be want to cash in on the services of Sanchez, signed from Barcelona in a £30million transfer during the summer of 2014.
“Sanchez will be the one now which everyone talks about – and let’s see how Arsene Wenger handles that. He (Wenger) has his contract (extension), and I don’t think Wenger will be in any rush, he will want to keep the player,” Keown said.
“I think he (Sanchez) is going to play, wherever he is, I don’t think he is the sort of lad who will down tools.
“Wenger has two years to go now on his contract at Arsenal, and he will want that time spent with the best possible players – Sanchez is one of Europe’s best players.
“Arsene Wenger is a little bit different to a lot of the managers I played under, and he does have a special bond with his players. (Robin) van Persie had a heart-to-heart (talk) with Wenger, and he let him go.
“I feel this time around, he will not be letting him (Sanchez) or any of his other players go that he does not want to let go, and that is all time-linked to how long he has got left with Arsenal.”