In what has been the most lucrative transfer window in the club’s history, Arsenal have splashed out a whopping £66million already this summer on new signings.
But around half of that amount, £30million, was devoted to the capture of a single player – former Barcelona star Alexis Sanchez.
The Chile international, also chased by Liverpool and Juventus to name but a few, is seen as a major acquisition for the Gunners, not least due to his exceptional, consistently proven quality.
We at Football FanCast have high hopes for the 25 year-old’s Emirates career, such high hopes that we believe he can transform the Gunners from the Premier League’s nearly men into bona fide Champions.
For a club famed by its fluency in the final third, Arsene Wenger will be disappointed that Arsenal netted just 68 times in the Premier League last season whilst Liverpool and Manchester City both exceeded the 100-goal mark.
Rather tellingly, Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey were the only Gunners players to reach double figures in the league last season.
Alexis Sanchez however offers significant firepower out wide. Despite Barcelona’s decision to sell last season, the 25 year-old was in potent form and also found two goals at the World Cup, as detailed below:
That includes this strike against tournament hosts Brazil:
If Sanchez can transition his netting prowess to the Premier League, the north Londoners will be privy to an extra ten-to-fifteen goals per season. Here’s a look at the Chile international’s Top Ten goals for the La Liga giants:
And through that ability to consistently find the net from wide positions, Alexis Sanchez has the potential to be a real match-winner for Arsenal.
The Gunners tellingly lacked a talismanic figure at the end of last season whilst Aaron Ramsey spent several months on the sidelines. But capable of producing incredible moments of individual magic such as this:
Or even this…
…gives the Chile forward the ability to transform Arsenal’s fortunes in an instant.
— GhosttGFX™ (@GhosttGFX) August 1, 2014
Over the last few seasons, Theo Walcott’s pace and natural penetration has become tactically vital for the north London side.
The threat he poses in behind allows space in front of the opposition defence for the others, and adds a more direct element to the Arsenal attack.
The Gunners’ form decisively slumped last season after the England international was ruled out with an ACL injury in February, with their pass-centric midfield subsequently becoming incredibly one-dimensional and simple to defend against.
The arrival of Alexis Sanchez however means Arsene Wenger can be less reliant on Walcott to provide that intrinsic service; like the Three Lions winger, the former Barcelona star is an absolute roadrunner – something Arsene Wenger has already commented on publicly.
FIFA rank him as the tenth-fastest player in the world. Then again, you have to wonder about a ranking system that puts Wayne Rooney in seventh:
The 10 fastest players in the world, according to Fifa´s calculations pic.twitter.com/C0oceQu5Pe
— Fatih Özbayram (@fatihg28) July 31, 2014
Here’s a look at the 25 year-old destroying La Liga defences with his electric speed and world-class skill:
Whilst Alexis Sanchez’ impeccable athleticism and natural penetration offers Arsenal something new going forward, his exceptional technique of legendary Barcelona standard lends itself to the Gunners’ more traditional style.
Here he is finishing off a 28-pass Barcelona move:
And this elegant back-heel is reminiscent of the Gunners’ award-winning goal against Norwich last season:
Combine Sanchez’s pace and technique, inkeeping with the Arsenal mould but also adding diversity to their attack, and it’s easy to see why the Chile attacker could transform the Gunners into champions.
A few years ago, there appeared to be a glass ceiling between Arsenal and the rest of the European elite in the transfer market.
But just as the £42.2million capture of Mesut Ozil last year undoubtedly unlocked the proverbial door to Alexis Sanchez this summer, the former Barcelona star’s arrival will in turn attract further coveted names to the Emirates in the near future.
The £30million transfer fee on its own makes a powerful statement of Arsene Wenger’s intent in the market, but Sanchez himself is further evidence of the club’s progression on this front over the last few years.
Rather than a club simply building for the future, the Gunners now feel like an outfit ready to effectively compete in all competitions.
It should make Arsenal’s alleged plans to snap up Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira exceptionally easier:
— Premier League (@PremierLeaguer) July 13, 2014