Arsenal must end their wait for the Premier League title if they aim to hold on to star winger Alexis Sanchez for the long term.
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The lure of Spanish teams has proven to be the Gunners’ Achilles heel in the past, with the likes of Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song leaving for a different challenge in Europe.
From the moment he first pulled on the Arsenal jersey, Sanchez has looked a superstar made in the mould of Henry who looks capable of ending their agonising 12-year wait for the league title.
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He helped fire the Londoners to retain the FA Cup last term, scoring 25 times in 52 appearances across all competitions.
After initially struggling with his fitness it has been a similar story this campaign, with the 26-year-old scoring nine goals in his first 18 games to help the Gunners keep pace with Leicester City at the summit.
Two of those came in the emphatic 3-0 victory over Manchester United back in October, where Louis van Gaal’s men had no answer to the wizardry of Wenger’s magician who is slowly, but surely, etching himself a place into Arsenal folklore.
History suggests that when Arsenal possess a superstar one of either Real Madrid or Barcelona will come calling soon enough.
Henry, for all his years of service, joined Barcelona in the summer of 2007 having found the chance to link up with Samuel Eto’o, Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho too good to turn down.
Fabregas was another who headed for the Nou Camp after growing tired of seeing Manchester United scoop all the major domestic gongs during the days where Sir Alex Ferguson and Cristiano Ronaldo ruled the roost.
And Alex Song and Alexander Hleb were two others to leave for Catalonia, though fared appallingly and their careers have never quite been the same since.
Sanchez was at Barcelona but, as the likes of Luis Figo and Javier Saviola prove, it is not a guarantee that he would necessarily snub the advances of Madrid.
Real could be forced to land a marquee superstar to replace Ronaldo who continues to be linked with either a return to United or a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
And that could be the factor that may well ensures Sanchez leaves, particularly if Arsenal’s efforts to win the league prove to be in vain.
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