Arsenal youngster Chuba Akpom has revealed Alexis Sanchez has been on the receiving end of some light-hearted jokes by his teammates following a failed move to Manchester City in the summer transfer window.
The 28-year-old was looking for the exit door at the Emirates during the summer and his former manager Pep Gaurdiola was desperate to reunite with the midfield maestro at City, but the deal collapsed on deadline day after the Gunners were unable to secure a replacement.
Sanchez's contract has now entered its final year and despite returning to the club, no extension has been signed, meaning the Chile international could be set to leave the club for nothing next summer.
However, all the commotion surrounding the transfer saga has led to Sanchez being at the centre of some old fashioned teasing from his Arsenal teammates, as Akpon 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.
Akpom himself has struggled to make an impact at the Emirates after making just four league appearances for the club, but he has revealed Sanchez is a constant source of encouragement for him.
He added: “I’m always taking to Alexis, he’s like a mentor to me. 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."