How much are Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez worth to Arsenal?

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil
Image: Contract talk currently surrounds Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil

With Arsenal stars Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in the final 18 months of their contracts, the Nissan Super Sunday panel debated just how important the pair are to the club's fortunes.

Newspaper speculation has linked Sanchez with a £400,000-per-week deal in China, while reports have suggested his German team-mate is pushing for a £300,000-per-week contract.

But are they worth anywhere near those sums? And what would it mean for Arsenal if they weren't able to tie the duo down for the long-term? Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville, Thierry Henry and Graeme Souness discussed the issues…

Souness: It's a real watershed moment for Arsenal because if they don't sign those two players, two players who have proven they can arguably be their two best players, and allow them to leave, going forward, what's that saying about Arsenal?

If you pay them the money they're after, they'll all be knocking on the manager's door saying they want a big increase.
Graeme Souness

But the dilemma is if you pay them the money they're after, they'll all be knocking on the manager's door saying they want a big increase.

For Arsenal, as a big football club - and they genuinely are one of the big clubs in world football - they have to make a statement. If they allow them two to go, how are they going to attract big players in the future?

Neville: I think Arsene Wenger is very reluctant to pay what would be the 'scandalous' levels. We're talking about £400,000-per-week being offered to Sanchez from China, and he's obviously waving that in front of Arsenal and saying 'get close to it' or something along those lines.

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Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez (right) celebrates with team-mate Mesut Ozil
Image: Ozil and Sanchez have been key players for Arsenal this season

Wenger has always been very diligent and actually he's done a brilliant job over the last 15-20 years in terms of managing the budgets, keeping competitive, staying in the Champions League. The issue around £400,000 or £300,000-per-week, you've got to allow them to manage the club around that and Wenger has always been pretty good around making those calls.

Sanchez: Over to you Arsenal

Sanchez: Over to you Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez says the onus is on Arsenal in contract tug-of-war

If the players are ransoming them then Arsenal shouldn't keep them anyway.

Henry: Those two players are vital for the future of the club, they have to secure that deal. But to what extent? I don't know if Arsene is going to want to pay those numbers. But if they don't sign, who are you going to bring after that? What's the future?

You need to be in a situation where you've won something already for the club to ask for that amount of money.
Thierry Henry

At the moment they are holding the club hostage. They are amazing but if they are on that amount of money, I want a hat-trick every week - and also when there's no game! You need to be in a situation where you've won something already for the club to ask for that amount of money.

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Neville: You talk about Sanchez and Ozil as though Arsenal Football Club is going to end if they leave. Arsenal have had far better players than them over the last 20 years. I wouldn't worry too much about them holding the club to ransom.

Make them an offer and if they don't stay let them go. Arsenal Football Club will still be here in a 100 years' time.
Gary Neville

Make them an offer and if they don't stay let them go. Arsenal Football Club will still be here in a 100 years' time.

Souness: They are asking for money that is only given to players who have won the big trophies. And they haven't won any big trophies.

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