In the latest reports, Arsenal are said to be “very confident” that the rumoured £30 million signing of Alexis Sanchez will be completed within the next few days. Several newspapers suggest that the 25 year old has agreed an astonishing £150,000 per week deal to join the Gunners this summer.
Having signalled his intention to leave Barcelona at the end of the season, the topic of Sanchez’s future has been hotly discussed by fans and pundits alike. The forward shone for Chile at the World Cup, netting twice before missing a crucial penalty in the shootout defeat to Brazil.
Following on from Mesut Ozil’s arrival last summer, the signing of Sanchez will represent another stunning coup for Arsenal. Arsene Wenger doesn’t often splash the cash and Gunners’ supporters are feverishly anticipating official confirmation that the 64 year old has got his man.
Bearing this all in mind, here are FIVE reason for Arsenal fans to be excited by the prospect of Alexis Sanchez.
Despite only starting twenty seven times in La Liga last season, Sanchez still managed to record an impressive nineteen strikes. On the final day of the season, the forward delivered this incredible finish against Atletico Madrid.
Ahead of both Gareth Bale and Neymar in La Liga’s goalscoring charts, it seems remarkable that Barcelona are willing to let the Chilean go. Only Diego Costa, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo scored more in the Spanish top flight last season. With Arsenal often criticised for being profligate in front of goal, the 25 year old would certainly provide a clinical cutting edge.
As well as being a deadly finisher, Sanchez also manages to create opportunities for his team-mates. The forward recorded ten assists in La Liga last season, the same amount that Barcelona’s new man Ivan Rakitic achieved at Sevilla.
Although Arsenal’s midfield is hardly short of creativity, the addition of the Chilean to the attack will only bolster their efficiency in creating chances. If Olivier Giroud isn’t displaced by the new man, the Frenchman will surely be licking his lips at the prospect of Sanchez’s production from out wide.
Although Mesut Ozil enjoyed a mixed first season, the German’s shock arrival provided a huge catalyst at the Emirates Stadium last season. Joining on Deadline Day, the playmaker went straight into the starting eleven and helped Arsenal to sit atop the Premier League for much of last season.
Whilst Sanchez’s arrival may not possess the same drama, the Chilean could well deliver a similar effect. Having finally ended the trophy drought, this blockbuster signing will be seen by many as a sign that Arsenal are moving up another level. For many Gunners supporters, there is a sense that the forward could well be one of the final pieces of the jigsaw for Wenger’s side.
Wenger paid £42.2m to lure Özil away from Madrid. Now he needs Alexis Sanchez to help revitalise the German assist king.
— The Bootiful Game (@BootifulGame_) July 9, 2014
— Henry Myers (@ThisIsHM) July 7, 2014
As I've said before about Ozil, Sanchez is not the first piece of the jigsaw, he's the start of it. Arsene building something beautiful.
— JC (@Gunnerblogger97) July 9, 2014
For all of Arsenal’s undoubtedly beautiful and intricate build-up play, there was a widespread feeling last season that the side lacked pace in the final third. With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott succumbing to successive injuries, Wenger’s side often lacked the necessary personnel to get in behind opposing defences.
The arrival of Sanchez will certainly address these concerns. Deployed centrally or out wide, the 25 year old will consistently play on the shoulder of the last man and look to exploit the channels and space in behind. In this respect, the forward will definitely add a much important dimension to Arsenal’s attack.
Just imagine! Walcott, Sanchez, Ox! That is just too much pace to handle! Speed devils!
— Säif#14 (@saif_gooner) July 9, 2014
— Goonerette|reloaded (@AyeshaOfficial) July 9, 2014
If we get Sanchez and remy, put them two along side Walcott and that's some serious pace upfront! #Arsenal
— Shad Haque (@ShadHaque) July 9, 2014
For £30 million plus, Wenger is certainly purchasing Sanchez with a specific purpose in mind. But it is worth pointing out that the Chilean is adept at fulfilling pretty much any role in the attacking third.
With his finishing and pace, a spot as a wide forward would seem ideal for the the 25 year old. But dependent on injuries or tactics, Sanchez could also be utilised more centrally to stretch defences and work the channels. Considering his assists record, there could also be the case for the forward to be employed in a deeper role, allowing the Chilean to drive forward and create.
If this Sanchez deal really goes through..Then @Arsenal have a helluva Versatile Striker
— D-DOT. (@dotman1_p) July 8, 2014
Sanchez is versatile and exactly what we need, not counting my chickens until I see him in a shirt though.
— B52 (@B52TheFortress) July 8, 2014