Former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon says Arsene Wenger should have shipped Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil out of the Emirates Stadium over their refusal to commit their futures to the club.
Both players’ contracts run out at the end of the season, although the pair have featured regularly in the first team over recent weeks.
Sanchez has been linked with a move to Manchester City, while Manchester United are believed to be interested in signing Ozil, but Dixon insists the duo should already been sold by Wenger.
“We’d have just shown them the door,” he told the Press Association. “If you don’t want to play, then go. That’s not changed.
“It happened with Michael Thomas 18 months after he scored (the title-winning goal against Liverpool) in ’89 – he was in dispute with the club or George (Graham) about money.
“He ended up going in similar circumstances and signing with Liverpool.
“It’s no different. If a player doesn’t want to stay somewhere, yes, agents and players manipulate situations – and clubs do, in order to get the best deal for the parties concerned – but, in general, if you don’t want to go there, and you don’t want to stay, then you will be ousted from the environment and dressing room pretty quickly.
“Players work out whether you want to be there or not, and certainly fans do when they see your performances on the pitch.”
Dixon is bang on the money regarding both Sanchez and Ozil.
Sanchez nearly moved to Man City for £60 million in the last transfer window and allowing him to run down his contract and leave for free is a major error by Wenger.
Ozil is undoubtedly a telented player, but he often goes missing in big games and is a luxury Arsenal can ill-afford to indulge as they look to force their way back into the top four this season.