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27 February 2024

Arsenal transfer latest: Sanchez success could persuade Wenger to spend big

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez runs with the ball in the Emirates Cup football match between Arsenal and AS Monaco at Emirates Stadium in England on August 3, 2014. (AFP)

By Reuters

Alexis Sanchez's scintillating form since arriving in the Premier League could give frugal Arsene Wenger belief that Arsenal can find value for money during the January transfer window.

The Chilean forward has been fifth-placed Arsenal's talisman this campaign, scoring 18 goals in all competitions and having a hand in many more after joining from Barcelona for 35 million pounds ($53 million) in the close season.

Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry, who struck 175 league goals for the club, described Sanchez as Wenger's "best signing in the last six years" and the manager is delighted with his recruit.

"He is one of the faster adaptors to the Premier League I've seen," Wenger said.

"Maybe Sanchez is one of our better signings, but then do you consider the price you pay as well? We paid good money for him. Is he value for money? Of course."

Arsenal fans will hope the success of this move will persuade the French manager to spend big in this transfer window, something Wenger has often been reluctant to do despite the team's obvious need for reinforcements.

After an indifferent start to a season in which many had expected the north London club to build on last year's FA Cup win, their first trophy in nine years, Wenger reportedly has 20 million pounds to spend in January.

The team's porous defence, plagued my injuries, is the area in most need of strengthening.

A deal for Legia Warsaw's teenage defensive midfielder Krystian Bielik is set to be completed next week for a reported 2 million pounds but a more experienced, established target is yet to materialise.

"We are out in the market and we are working very hard every day. All our scouts and our people are working very hard to find a defender," Wenger said.

Arsenal visit second-placed Manchester City on Sunday, 11 points adrift of their hosts.