Football expert Chris Sutton believes Arsenal won’t be attractive enough to adequately replace wantaway star players this summer after finishing fifth in the Premier League.
The former Chelsea striker, 44, who spoke exclusively to Shoot! from Wembley Stadium ahead of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup final between The Blues and The Gunners, admits the North London outfit have gone backwards after missing out on qualification for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 20 years.
With key men Alexis Sanchez, who has scored 29 goals in all competitions for Arsene Wenger’s side so far this season, and Mesut Ozil both heavily linked with moves away from the Emirates Stadium this summer, BT Sport football expert Sutton feels Arsenal will struggle to lure in like-for-like replacements for the duo, should they depart.
“If you are Sanchez, I can understand why he wants to leave,” Sutton said.
“I don’t think Arsenal is the attraction, it was all about the Champions League. Well, first time in 20 years they haven’t got the Champions League, they are not the team which they were.
“They are not more attractive than Chelsea, not more attractive than Manchester City or Tottenham.
“More attractive than Liverpool? That is in the balance, but they have Champions League [football]. Then [there is] the pull of Manchester United.”
After watching his former club, Chelsea, lift the 2016-17 Premier League title on Sunday, finishing a huge 18 points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal, Shoot! then asked Sutton which, if any, Gunners players would work their way into Antonio Conte’s title-winning XI.
“I think you would just say Sanchez really. Maybe [Hector] Bellerin over [Victor] Moses, that would be the other one,” Sutton stated.
“They play different formations. I still think that Ozil is a real talent. I know what everyone says about him, in terms of perception and at times he is lazy, but he is talented. That maybe a debatable one.”
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