Reports from Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo are suggesting that the Alexis Sanchez and Arsenal honeymoon is edging towards a messy end. Although the truth in suggestions that he’s worried about the club’s Premier League position, his role in the XI and Santi Cazorla’s emergence as the darling of the Emirates Stadium is unclear, there are now worries growing.
Alexis has been, without doubt, the key man in the Gunners’ XI this term, but his reaction to some losses, and even wins, has been a little alarming. The South American’s face after the dramatic Champions League victory against Anderlecht was one of frustration, but this could be, perhaps, a bi-product of his fierce will to win.
Regardless of what is going on, Arsenal must keep Sanchez… and here are FIVE reasons why!
A glance at the stats really does say it all… In terms of goals and assists, Sanchez wipes the floor with all his major competitors in the Gunners’ squad, registering a superior efforts on goal and accuracy rating, while creating far more chances for team-mates. Only Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is better in terms of beating his man one-on-one – which is an easier task on the wing – while 31 tackles shows he’s adept ant defending from the front in a high-pressing system.
Arsenal have often been criticised for lacking leaders and having a soft underbelly, but Sanchez is very much a player away from that mould. The 26-year-old’s game is all about action, pressing and fighting for every scrap, and his tendency to chase down lost causes is often infectious in the Arsenal team. Remove him from the equation, and where would the Londoners be this season? Lower than fifth, probably!
As well as being a scrapper and a battler, Sanchez is also a pretty decent footballer! His hard-work is matched by silky skills, finishing ability and neat passing (he played for Barcelona, after all), and Gunners fans have witnessed what he can do on more than a few occasions since his arrival, which was made all the sweeter as he rejected rivals Liverpool.
Over the years Arsenal have developed a reputation as a selling club. Robin van Persie left for Manchester United, Thierry Henry to Barcelona, Bacary Sagna, Samir Nasri and Emmanuel Adebayor have gone to Manchester City… big blows there! However, with the Emirates Stadium debt now no longer the issue it was – hence the big fee paid for Sanchez over the summer – the time to offload key men for sizable profits may be in the past, so letting the fulcrum of the side head off would be, perhaps, even worse than the aforementioned deals.
Leading on from the last point, rival teams could move for Sanchez. Manchester has been an area of the country north London stars have headed in recent times, and with both City and United financially strong, there is a potential risk that they could weigh in for a player of Alexis’ quality. There have been no official links as of yet, but football is a funny game and proven Premier League quality is always in demand at the top end…