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A few words on what Alexis Sánchez returning to training means

In which I analyze Alexis’s return to London Colney for the first time since May

Chile v Germany: Final - FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images


The news of Alexis Sánchez returning to training today literally means absolutely nothing at all.

The news of Alexis returning to training with a giant smile on his face contains less meaning, and is of less significance, than if Atom and Humber performed “Somewhere” while holding each other in a deep embrace in the hopes they’ll get delicious doggy treats as a reward for a job well done from their famous owner.

After all, as Arsene Wenger has pointed out to anyone with a working microphone over the last couple months, Alexis is still under contract with Arsenal and is obligated to return to the club. This is standard operating procedure for all players, including ones that may or may not be on the verge of a move.

And what to make of the smiles and thumbs up from Alexis to the camera? Not a damn thing.

Players generally recognize they are their own brand. To insinuate anything but harmony, disillusion, and sullenness is to create a firestorm when one wasn’t and isn’t needed. Especially for savvy social media users, which Alexis is. It’s one thing to convey frustration after a bad match performance and/or result, but showing up to training with a frown on his face doesn’t help anyone in this situation - least of all the player himself.

In other words, Alexis might still leave. His smile and display of an upturned thumb doesn’t positively indicate anything regarding his contract situation at Arsenal.