Arsenal: Arsene Wenger Decision Causes Concern For Gunners Fans

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger at Wembley Stadium, London, August 6. Dan Istitene/Getty

As the team sheets filtered out of Wembley Stadium on Sunday afternoon, there were two standout absentees from Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal team. 

The north London club had arrived at Wembley for the season’s curtain-raiser, the Community Shield against Chelsea. Arsenal has frequently relied on the quality of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil over the years, but neither would be featuring here. 

Both men sat behind the dugout at Wembley, dressed in the club suit, after being left out of the match day squad. French striker Alexandre Lacazette was given his debut after joining from Lyon this summer for a club record £46.5 million (about $61 million). 

Alongside Lacazette, where Ozil would usually be deployed, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck supported the new striker. 

The decision from Wenger may be down to keeping the two men fresh for the start of the Premier League season, with Arsenal in the opening game of the campaign against Leicester on Friday night. 

Wenger has insisted that Sanchez will remain at the Emirates Stadium this season, representing Arsenal as it looks to challenge for the Premier League title and climb back into the Champions League. 

Related: How to Watch Chelsea vs. Arsenal in the Community Shield

But with just one year left on the Chilean’s contract, there was some concern that his absence at Wembley may mean that the situation was still not resolved. 

That will become more clear should he be named among the starting line-up on Friday.

Manchester City has shown serious interest in Sanchez but Wenger is unwilling to sell to a Premier League rival. Should he remain at Arsenal but not sign a contract extension, Sanchez will be free to speak to other clubs in January.