Arsene Wenger conceded Alexis Sanchez’s future remains uncertain after the forward again excelled in Arsenal’s 3-2 victory at Crystal Palace.
After the Frenchman’s record-equalling 810th fixture as a Premier League manager, he also reiterated plans to hold contract talks with the improving Jack Wilshere.
On the same evening Wenger drew level with the record set by Sir Alex Ferguson, from inside his own half Wilshere played the classy ball that released Sanchez beyond Palace’s defence to score his second goal and Arsenal’s third.
His growing influence again demonstrated the importance of securing his future at a time when, like Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, unless Arsenal make progress he will be able to leave for free at the season’s end.
Asked of Sanchez, who has long interested league leaders Manchester City, the 68-year-old Wenger responded: “Nobody knows what will happen. It’s difficult to speculate.
“We are focused on short term, that means the next game with the players committed and ready to fight. It’s not a guarantee of how long you stay somewhere. As long as you are somewhere, you give your best.
“They are questioned, always, when people don’t have long contracts. The best way to show they are committed is to give that kind of performance. Jack is coming back in competitive shape. He gives something to the team, and gave a good final ball for the third goal.
“At 3-2 it became nervy again, and it finished in a less controlled way, but it was a good team performance.”
Wenger then explained regarding Wilshere: “We need to sit down with him. Beginning of January, it’s planned.
“There is no delay. I said we would sort out his situation in December, end of December. I told him we want to meet and sit down with him to talk about the future. That’s what I did.
“We play on Sunday (at West Brom), we play on Wednesday (at home to Chelsea). At the moment the focus has to be on the games.”
Roy Hodgson’s Palace had been undefeated in their previous eight fixtures, and the former England manager said: “We didn’t pressurise them as well as they did us, which is a recipe for disaster against a team of their quality.
“But we remedied that. We were on the front foot at 1-1 and looking good value, that we might kick on, but we conceded two goals: especially the second one, which was a body blow.
“We showed great resilience and determination after that to in no way capitulate and take the game to them, risking the counter-attack. Unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to get the third goal which, maybe had the second come earlier, we might have been able to get.”
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