Arsenal got a painful glimpse of life without Alexis Sanchez in their 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth on Sunday.
Arsene Wenger left the Chile international out at against the Cherries as he felt the forward may not have been fully focused.
But even a distracted Sanchez would have offered more than Alexandre Lacazette, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck at the Vitality Stadium.
Bournemouth didn’t even have to play particularly well to get the three points. Arsenal just collapsed after they conceded an equaliser and came under pressure.
Without Sanchez or Mesut Ozil, their play often lacks spark and invention. Combine that with their defensive problems and the top four looks further away than ever.
The Gunners are currently sixth, eight points off Liverpool in fourth.
It’s not hard to see why Sanchez has got fed up. He’s scored almost a goal every other game during his time in North London. But the team around him hasn’t been good enough to push for major trophies.
The closest Wenger’s side have come to the league title since his arrival is finishing 10 points behind Leicester City in 2015-16. And they haven’t got past the second round of the Champions League since 2009-10.
Now it looks like Arsenal face a second year out of Europe’s biggest club competition.
If he does go to United, he’s unlikely to win the title this season with City so far ahead. But they’d have a real chance in the Champions League.
The Red Devils are currently joint-sixth favourites at 14/1. But their solid defence, together with Sanchez, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku going forward would be a match for any side.
It had long been reported that Sanchez was desperate to join City. But now the league leaders have backed away from the sums involved, it seems like his stance is anyone but Arsenal.
The sad part for Arsenal fans is that Sanchez’s arrival was supposed to help the team reach the next level. He did his part. The club and the manager haven’t done theirs.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication