John Hartson delivers warning to Arsenal
By Will Butcher
John Hartson believes Arsenal need to open their cheque book to secure the long-term futures of contract rebels Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
The Gunners’ attacking stars have just over 18 months remaining on their current Arsenal contracts, as doubts continue to cloud their futures at the Emirates.
Hartson, who played for the Gunners between 1995 and 1997, called on Wenger to give the likes of Ozil and Sanchez what they want before other clubs start to become interested.
“If you don’t pay these players what they want, then they’re going to move and get what they want elsewhere,” Hartson said to talkSPORT, as quoted by Goal. “You’ve got to pay these players what they feel they’re worth.
“If you don’t get these top players tied down as soon as their contracts are running out, all of a sudden all the other big clubs come swarming in and you risk losing them.
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“I know Arsene Wenger and the club don’t want to be held to ransom, but there’s got to be a balance.”
Germany international Ozil has been in superb form for Arsenal this season, as he continues to become more ruthless in the penalty area.
Eight goals and five assists during his 18 league and cup outings this season has seen him reach third in Arsenal’s goalscoring rankings, with only Theo Walcott and former Barcelona star Sanchez ahead of him.
Sanchez, 27, has been lethal in front of goal for Wenger’s side, scoring 13 goals in 19 games and turning provider on a further nine occasions.
The attacking duo are likely to feature against FC Basel on Tuesday night, as they look to secure top spot in Group A of the Champions League ahead of Paris Saint-Germain.
In other Arsenal news, Garth Crooks gives his reaction to Alan Shearer’s verdict on Sanchez.