Wenger braced for knife-edge Arsenal season

Martin Keown

GETTYMartin Keown does not think Alexis Sanchez will stay at Arsenal long term

"I felt that to lose tonight would have been bad for us because we had such good preparation and to sit there in the morning and think we had lost at home would have been awful", he said.

He missed the Community Shield victory over Chelsea with flu and now Wenger has said he is out with an abdominal strain.

Arsenal have collected more opening day red cards than any other Premier League side (6), with Laurent Koscielny getting two of the last three (2010-11 v Liverpool, 2013-14 v Aston Villa). We think he will not play at Stoke.

Arsenal have reportedly offered Alexis Sanchez a new deal worth £300,000 a week, according to the Daily Mail.

Pressed by fellow panellist and BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker whether he genuinely did not know until the latter stage of the season whether he knew he would be staying or not, Wenger said: "No".

'At some stage, I had to tell them, "Look guys, I am with you, but we have to win games"'.

"I feel that they've just got to get back in the top four".

Sanchez's last game was the Confederations Cup final for Chile on July 2 and he was given an extended summer break.

With Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey also serious doubts for the season opener against the Foxes, Arsenal will have to rely on the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi to lead their attack. "I believe he will be a very great player".

"I can take a gamble on one, maybe maximum two, but I focus more on the players who had the right number of competitive minutes in recent weeks".

The leader of "Arsenal" Alexis Sanchez could become the highest paid player in the English Premier League.

Wenger said Sanchez would be missed but admitted he would not have started the game against Leicester even if he was deemed fit to play.

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