Arsenal are enduring some of the most testing conditions in recent club history on and off the pitch this season.
The Premier League is as competitive as ever at the top end, with the Manchester clubs creating a five-point advantage over their nearest rivals after just seven matches.
But after losing to both Stoke and Liverpool within a week during August, Arsene Wenger has watched his team string together six wins and a draw in all competitions.
It’s certainly not all bad for the Gunners at present but their hopes of pulling off a shock title run against the odds is seemingly fading as each week passes.
While there’s still a long way to go in the hunt for silverware this term, the prospect of Arsenal winning a trophy largely hinges on the performances of two men.
The fact Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil drew most of the attention in north London during the summer despite the club-record signing of Alexandre Lacazette says it all.
The uncertainty surrounding their respective futures is still the talk of the Emirates and, if the opinion of an Arsenal first-team player is anything to go by, nothing will change anytime soon.
Fresh from sending Nigeria to the 2018 World Cup during the international break, Alex Iwobi has finally broken the silence among Arsenal players regarding the Ozil-Sanchez situation.
The 21-year-old has said losing them – whether in January or the end of the season – would be devastating for the club.
“When they are fit they are unstoppable. They are both capable of changing a game — or a season,” Iwobi said, per the Sun.
“They have a big decision to make. But it would be a huge setback to lose them because from the stats you can see we do need them for their goals and assists.
“For a team like Arsenal, we need to be aiming for the top four and we need what they bring.”
IWOBI MAKES BIG CLAIM
While a young Arsenal player suggesting the fate of his team depends on a pair of stars is hugely controversial, it’s far from inaccurate.
The Gunners are a Premier League laughing stock for competing in the second tier of European football for the first time since bowing of the Champions League group stage more than 17 years ago.
If they were to allow Sanchez and Ozil to leave on their own terms, potentially to a direct rival in the case of the former, their situation is only going to worsen.