Arsenal Vs Bournemouth: Alexis Sanchez has to earn the love

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal walks off after the Premier League match between Arsenal and AFC Bournemouth at Emirates Stadium on September 9, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal walks off after the Premier League match between Arsenal and AFC Bournemouth at Emirates Stadium on September 9, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) /
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Alexis Sanchez was met by a smattering of boos when he returned to Arsenal on Saturday. He will have to earn the love of the fans once again.

Alexis Sanchez returned to Arsenal on Saturday. Although he featured in the four-goal hammering thanks to Liverpool, that came before the deadline day drama that hinted at a Manchester-City-shaped exit, and the feeling between him and fans was not as fractious and uncertain.

Related Story: Arsenal Vs Bournemouth: 5 things we learned

Thanks to his international excursions, which meant that he did not return to North London until Thursday, Arsene Wenger saw it fit to drop Sanchez to the bench, resting him for a long and arduous season ahead.

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And when Sanchez was introduced, midway through the second half, he was met by a smattering of boos. It was unknown what the reception for the Chilean would be, with some fans angry at his attempts to leave and others more understanding. But after the 3-0 win, when asked about the slightly negative response of the fans to Sanchez’s arrival, Wenger said that he expected him to win them back quickly:

"“Alexis Sanchez will win the fans back, and win them back very quickly. We have to accept those responses from people. I don’t know why [there were jeers]. The best way to get people on your side is to perform. I had a chat with him after the game and he didn’t look unhappy. Maybe it’s because he wanted to score. The interpretation of the attitudes is always very dangerous.”"

For a player of Sanchez’s quality and popularity, it proves that the Arsenal fans are not blinded by sheer ability. There is an element of loyalty to the club that is required for a player to endear himself to the fans. And that is what Sanchez must do now again.

He must play not only at the high level that Wenger believes will sway the fans back to his side but also with an energy and an effort that indicates his desire for the club. Sanchez is a competitive character and often has to be calmed, rather than incited. But there were clearly issues between him and the club after deadline day. There is no guarantee that he will want to play for a team that he wanted to leave.

Next: Arsenal Vs Bournemouth: 3 players who put themselves on the map

Sanchez is a key player for Arsenal this season and it is vital that he plays at his best. A front three consisting of him, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil is a salivating prospect, but if he is not motivated to play, then it could fall flat before it ever starts.