Alexis Sanchez may have wanted out of the club over the summer, but Arsene Wenger says the forward is "happy" at Arsenal.
Having entered the final year of his contract and with no intention of committing to fresh terms, the Chilean forward was eager to make a move when Manchester City came calling.
A £60 million offer was on the table as the transfer deadline approached, but Arsenal failed to bring in cover – notably Monaco’s Thomas Lemar – and Sanchez was prevented from leaving.
He has been back among the goals in Europa League action since being reintroduced to the Gunners fold and Wenger believes that a long-running exit saga has been quickly forgotten.
The Frenchman told reporters ahead of a crunch Premier League clash with Chelsea on Sunday: “We love Alexis. He is a special character and we all love him.
“I think he is well-loved and he’s accepted – and that he’s happy here at Arsenal.”
Arsenal hope that by keeping Sanchez at Emirates Stadium, they will be the ones to benefit from his undoubted ability this season.
Wenger is, however, eager to point out that his side are not reliant on their 30-goal top goalscorer from last season to enjoy a productive campaign.
He added, while recalling a 4-0 mauling at Anfield prior to the recent international break: “He was in the team at Liverpool as well. We lose all together and win all together.
“It’s not just about one person, it’s about the team performance – and that means everyone, who comes on or who starts, giving 100 per cent.”
Wenger is also convinced that everyone connected with the club has taken important lessons from that setback on Merseyside and offered the kind of response which suggests that they have lost none of their “character”.
“I believe against Liverpool everything went against us on the day,” said Wenger.
“We were not sharp physically. It was three days before the end of the transfer window and some players had their heads in and out.
“You have to take these special circumstances into consideration.
“You learn from defeats and during the season every team will have a bad patch and bad games. The team that has less of these wins the title.
“We had a very positive end to last season and played very well in games against the big teams, like Manchester City and Chelsea.
“Of course, we have the backbone to come back. You do not win the [FA] Cup the way we did without it.
“Nobody just gives that trophy to you. This team has character.”