Could Arsenal Replace Alexis Sanchez With PSG’s Angel Di Maria?

Arsenal will have one last chance in January to sell Alexis Sanchez and get cash in for the Chilean before he can leave for a free next summer.

Despite being adamant in August that he wasn’t willing to sell the attacker, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger seemed to relent in the final days of the transfer window and agree to sell Alexis to Manchester City. That was on the proviso that Arsenal would only sell if they could get in a replacement.

A late move for AS Monaco’s Thomas Lemar was launched and ultimately failed, thus Arsenal kept hold of their number seven.

They could now be tempted to sell Sanchez to Pep Guardiola’s side as long as they get a decent fee. The international forward has had a pretty poor start to the campaign given his own usual high octane standards. Yes he’s had injury and fitness issues, but truth be told he just doesn’t seem to have the heart in it anymore.

In actual fact, Sanchez has so far managed to receive more yellow cards (2) than goals in the Premier League (1).

You can imagine Wenger possibly changing his stance on Alexis Sanchez when the winter window opens up on the first of January. That could see the dynamic former Barca man heading for the Eithad and someone new heading to the Emirates.

A potential new arrival could be PSG winger Angel Di Maria.

Sanchez has either started on the left or in behind the lone striker, Argentine internationalist Di Maria can play in those positions or on the right wing (as he has done with PSG this term).

With the arrivals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in the French capital, Di Maria has seen his place in the starting line-up come under threat, he’s certainly not an automatic starter.

Those two significant summer signings also left a hole in the Parisian side’s bank balance. Now the Qatari owners can obviously afford the cash but in truth they will fear a reprisal from UEFA as they might be judged of not abiding by the Financial Fair Play rules. A punishment that consisted of banning PSG from the Champions League, even for just a season would terrify the club’s owners.

In order to prevent that from happening you might see Les Rouge-et-Bleu jettisoning a few expendable first team talents in the next few transfer windows.

Player like Di Maria, Lucas Moura, Javier Pastore and Thomas Meunier could be seen as likely candidates to go if a suitable bid comes in for their services.

If that’s the case then maybe Arsenal could prize him away from Paris for the same sort of fee they could get in for Sanchez come January.

People might state that German attacking star Julian Draxler could also find himself in the same category but I think he’d be a last resort if they couldn’t offload any of the others previously mentioned. Although the midfield maestro has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich.

Now Di Maria wouldn’t replace Sanchez’s goals but as I’ve mentioned that stat has dried up for Alexis this season. Plus surely Wenger spent over £40m on Alexandre Lacazette for the Frenchman to be the North London team’s main goal threat.

What Angel will give you is vision, creativity, pace and directness to get the ball to the goalscoring strikers.

Wenger has revealed in the past that he chased a teenage Di Maria:

“We had identified Di Maria when he was 17 in an international competition.

“But he went to Portugal, and from Portugal he went to Spain. Why? Because he could not get a work permit for England, so that meant you could only get him to England once he was worth a huge amount of money.”

Now people will moan that the Argentine didn’t realise his potential at Manchester United, the last time he was a Premier League player. But let’s not forget that he was playing under Louis van Gaal at the time and the Dutch coach was continuously playing the winger out of position and asking him to be more defensive minded. Arsene certainly won’t do that!

Also no Man Utd player bettered Di Maria’s ten assists the season he was at Old Trafford.

This season the wide-man has three assists in six Ligue 1 starts, no Gunners player has a higher assist stat this term! He also has goal and an assist in his three substitute appearances in the Champions League.

So you’d imagine that Di Maria could play alongside Mesut Ozil in behind either Lacazette or Oliver Giroud and give them plenty of ammunition.

At twenty-nine years of age, Angel is just a year older than Sanchez. It could be him hitting his peak years.

Di Maria showed at Real Madrid that he’s more than capable of producing at the highest level. Wenger might look at his situation at Man United and PSG and think that the forward has a point to prove.

Van Gaal and PSG boss Unai Emery seem to have struggled when trying to get the best out of Angel Di Maria. It’s almost as if they just didn’t/don’t believe in his ability.

If Arsene Wenger was able to sign the Argentine international and give him renewed confidence then maybe just maybe Arsenal could get a readymade replacement for Alexis Sanchez, who already seems to have had his head turned.

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