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Arsenal seem to have admitted their defeat in keeping hold of attacking sensation Alexis Sanchez who made his intentions pretty clear last summer by refusing to extend his stay beyond the end of this campaign. The Chilean, who netted 30 goals last term for the Gunners, expressed his desire to achieve European glory, and the absence of Champions League football at the Emirates accelerated his decision of drawing an end to his Gunners realm.
Arsene Wenger, the veteran French gaffer, didn’t give up initially and was also adamant to let him leave for free next summer rather than sanctioning a move to a Premier League counterpart amidst interest from both the Manchester clubs. Things, however, have altered significantly since the transfer window reopened this month and Wenger too has softened his stance regarding the retention of the prolific Chilean.
Sanchez has been a shadow of his former self this season with his head set for a new venture and Arsenal are reportedly lining up a replacement before allowing him to leave later this month. With less than six months remaining in his current deal, Arsenal are expecting a fee of £35m which will see them recoup what they paid (£35m) for the decorated forward in the summer of 2014.
“Look, honestly, I cannot tell you much more at the moment about this situation. Nothing is really concrete. ‘I don’t want to give you wrong information. Nothing is decided one way or another. It is always beneficial to the club who can take advantage. ‘But we are not in that. Normally you should stay until the end of the season but we will see,” Wenger stated when asked about the future of his star attacker who was only introduced off the bench against Chelsea in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final tie.
The 20-year-old Brazilian took no time to settle in since completing his move from Corinthians a couple of years back and has flourished immensely in Ligue 1 since the previous campaign. The left-footed attacker, who primarily operates from the right flank, will be a perfect fit for Arsenal’s attack, as he possesses skills, pace and goal-scoring traits.
Arsenal are set to offload Theo Walcott this month whereas German sensation Mesut Ozil is also reluctant to extend his stay beyond this season. Malcom, on the other hand, has been prolific for the French outfit and has already netted 7 goals as well as 4 assists in 16 league starts so far this campaign. Although the Red Devils have been chasing his signing for long, Wenger’s influence back in France makes him the front-runner to land the £45m-rated forward.
Sanchez, however, has mostly been utilised on the left wing and Malcom’s impact on the other flank might create confusion as to whether he will be a direct replacement of the Chilean. But, as things stand, the Brazilian is expected to feature in his usual role, with Danny Welbeck set to operate in Sanchez’s slot. Mesut Ozil is also capable of playing in multiple attacking roles as long as he is there and the arrival of the Brazilian will enhance Arsenal’s attacking flair in the long run.
This is how the Gunners might lineup with Malcom for the rest of the campaign.