I’d keep Sanchez over Ozil says ex-Arsenal defender Upson

PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:58 13 May 2017

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring his side's first goal at Southampton (pic Nick Potts/PA)

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring his side's first goal at Southampton (pic Nick Potts/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Former Gunner believes Chilean inspires team-mates

Former Arsenal defender Matt Upson says if he had to choose he would love to see the club keep Alexis Sanchez over Mesut Ozil.

The Chilean scored his 20th Premier League goal of the season in Wednesday’s 2-0 win at Southampton, but his future at the Emirates – and that of Germany international Ozil – has been the subject of much debate this season.

Both players are out of contract at the end of next season and Upson said: “They are both incredible players so it’s a difficult choice and ideally Arsenal would keep both of them. If pushed on only keeping one, I’d personally keep Sanchez.

“I don’t think they can afford to lose someone with his energy and determination on the field. I’m not saying Ozil isn’t committed, but Sanchez displays it on a more regular and intense basis.

“I think the players look at Sanchez and are inspired to play with him, because he doesn’t give up. That’s a powerful thing that you can’t lose.”

Arsenal’s players have come in for some stinging criticism at times during the season, as they suffered a host of poor defeats and saw their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League badly hit.

And Upson admits he would have loved to see N’Golo Kante join last summer, when the former Leicester midfielder signed for Chelsea, with whom he looks set to claim a second league winner’s medal.

He added: “I’m not in that dressing room, so I can only speak from the outside, but as with any team a lot of the mentality will depend on the balance of the dressing room.

“The main accusation often levelled against the Arsenal team is that you’ve got very similar players across the board; nice, technically-gifted players and you get the odd one, like Sanchez, who stands out because he plays with an intensity and in a manner that people want to see.

“In my opinion, you can’t simply give a footballer drive and determination to fight and display those characteristics – that comes from within the player.

“You look at the likes of N’Golo Kante and it’s a shame that Arsenal were unable to bring him to the club as he’s an example of a type of player many believe that Arsenal could benefit from. He has the drive, determination and the tenacity that fans love.”

As for who he thinks Arsenal should look to recruit this summer, in order to put themselves back among the Premier League title-chasers next term, Upson was less concerned with names and more interested in character.

He said: “Instead of one player, it’s a type of player I would like to see them sign.

“Arsenal don’t necessarily need big names, but they have to display that drive and determination.

“You need a presence, whether that’s in defence or in the centre of midfield, to win the ball back and be dynamic and aggressive.”,126925.html


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

Arsenal performed a classic European smash and grab with a late goal from Olivier Giroud to beat Red Star Belgrade 1-0 in the frenzied Rajko Mitic Stadium.

Yesterday, 17:23

Hackney has the highest number of bike thefts in London for the second year running – and the figure is going up.

Yesterday, 17:00

Chairman Doug Harper pleased to see their efforts recognised while Leyton Orient Trust also receive nomination for “Man v Fat” initiative

Yesterday, 17:00

Tottenham Hotspur are now unbeaten in five games at the national stadium and have won matches their in three different competitions

Yesterday, 15:06

Colleagues and friends of a Stoke Newington artist have rallied to help her widower and son – by donating work for a charity auction.

Yesterday, 15:00

On-loan Dagenham & Redbridge defender Kevin Lokko wants his side to put together a full 90 minutes of hard-work as they face Wrexham this weekend.

Yesterday, 13:00

Left-back has looked better this month since Steve Davis changed formation to a 3-5-2/5-3-2

Yesterday, 12:00

Lee Valley Lions have announced the signing of defenceman Matthew Hamilton for the remainder of the 2017/18 season.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists