Alexis Sanchez’s failure to secure a transfer away from Arsenal has left him facing “banter” from his team-mates, admits Chuba Akpom.
The Chilean forward had hoped to leave Emirates Stadium over the summer, having taken the decision to enter the final 12 months of his current contract.
Arsene Wenger made it clear, however, that no sale would be sanctioned without suitable cover being brought in, and a lack of incomings meant that the deadline passed with Sanchez staying put.
Manchester City did have a £60 million offer on the table, but Arsenal stood firm and Sanchez is now having to contend with forcing his way back into favour and training ground stick from his colleagues.
Akpom told the Daily Star: “We do banter about it to be fair.
“But at the end of the day, he’s still at Arsenal. Everyone is happy, the fans are happy and he’s happy.
“I think with a player like Sanchez he just blocks it out because all he wants to do is play football.
“He’s so focused on football, he blocks out a lot of negativity and transfer rumours.”
While Sanchez was looking to further his own career elsewhere during the recent transfer window, Akpom is delighted to still have him in north London.
The 21-year-old has endured an inconsistent senior career to date and feels that the presence of an experienced head alongside him can only benefit him in the long run.
“I’m always taking to Alexis, he’s like a mentor to me,” Akpom added.
“He’s always telling me to believe in myself and he told he believes in me a lot and I should keep working hard.
“When you’re talking to one of the best players in the world and he’s saying he believes in you then that’s going to give you a boost.
“I’m just trying to emulate everything he does.”
Akpom has made only 10 competitive appearances for Arsenal.
He has taken in 69 outings during a series of loan spells at Football League clubs, but his only senior goals to date came at Hull City – with the young forward having found the target just seven times.