So what do you get when you enter the Europa League? Teams you can’t pronounce, a chance to see the youngsters and oh yeah, a reunion with Alexander Hleb!
The former Gunner who is loved and loathed by supporters following his controversial move to Barcelona back in 2008 has opened up on a number of topics surrounding the current squad during an interview with The Independent.
Following a summer where it was impossible to escape, Alexis Sanchez was unsurprisingly top of the agenda when Hleb was questioned ahead of Arsenal’s game against BATE Borisov.
The 36-year-old was in attendance as he watched the home side, who he’s played for on three separate occasions, lose 4-2 to an Arsenal side made up of youth and experience.
It was a result that didn’t throw up any shocks, but Hleb’s comments before kick-off were certainly something to get worked up about.
He believes Alexis Sanchez could make a U-turn during the January transfer window and stay on at Arsenal just five months after failing to secure a move to Manchester City:
I think he will wait until the winter, see how the team are playing and maybe sign a new contract. Performances like the one against Chelsea are encouraging.
Why not stay at Arsenal? It’s a great club with huge tradition, great fans and Arsene Wenger as the manager. They can achieve things. Why leave?
He’s such an important player for Arsenal and is a leader. I have seen him play this season and he still fights, gives his best and scores goals. He looked professional rather than angry that he didn’t get his move to Manchester City.
I think Arsenal fans have come to terms with the fact they’re going to lose Alexis at the end of the season but are taking confidence in the way Wenger has handled the situation.
We still have a world class player at our disposal this season who will need to audition himself for a World Cup spot and of course, to potential suitors like Pep Guardiola’s City.
Having seen Wenger say that the Lemar deal would’ve been done if there was more time it almost certainly shows we’ll go all out to get him in January as a ready-made replacement.
The only loss we will be making is a financial one – but at the end of the day, whatever happens, you’ll never be able to please everyone Mr Wenger.