Alexis Sanchez may have played his final match for Arsenal - in fact, he might already be a Manchester United player by the time you read this - but the Gunners proved that life moves on against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.
Arsene Wenger’s side went 1-0 up in the sixth minute, then 2-0 up four minutes later. Three minutes after that it was 3-0, and by 22 minutes it was four.
Arsenal produced some of the best football we’ve seen all season - and all without Sanchez.
Although they failed to add to their tally during the remaining 68 minutes of the match - and Luka Milivojević pulled a consolation goal back for the visitors late in the second half - this was an outstanding team performance from Wenger’s men.
After the match, many Arsenal fans were asking themselves if they’re now a better team without Sanchez. While it’s a little premature to be drawing such conclusions, Arsenal fans can be forgiven for asking themselves the question.
The undoubted star of the show was Mesut Ozil who, like Sanchez, is out of contract in the summer.
The German playmaker was outstanding - especially in those devastating opening 22 minutes - and sent Arsenal fans home with smiles on their faces.
Redknapp says what Arsenal fans are thinking about Ozil
In his Daily Mail column, former Premier League midfielder-turned-Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp said what most Arsenal fans are now thinking about Ozil.
“After their surrender at Bournemouth last week, I argued in these pages that it was the worst Arsenal team I had seen,” Redknapp wrote. “On Saturday, Arsenal needed just 22 minutes to go 4-0 up against Crystal Palace. The difference? Mesut Ozil.”
He continued: “Without Ozil and Alexis Sanchez last weekend, it was a worrying glimpse of the future for Arsenal. Against Palace, they proved that with Ozil and Jack Wilshere they can blow teams away and it is vital that Arsene Wenger gets them both signed up. Ozil has Arsenal where he wants them.
“Now Sanchez has gone, he knows the club cannot risk losing him. It reminds me of when Steve McManaman left Liverpool for Real Madrid. To prevent other players from leaving, the club gave us all a pay rise.
“Even if it means breaking their wage structure, Arsenal have to give Ozil what he wants.”
Arsenal fans have been tweeting roughly the same thing
Arsenal fans are all thinking the exact same thing, judging by their tweets about the attacking midfielder over the past couple of days.
Ozil will surely be offered a huge contract
Like Redknapp says, though, the former Real Madrid star knows he’s in an even stronger position following Sanchez’s move to Manchester United.
Wenger can ill-afford to lose the World Cup winner, who will now expect to become the club’s highest-paid player.
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