Could Sanchez do for Arsenal what Suarez did for Liverpool?
In Luis Suarez’s final season at Liverpool, it is easy to remember that his 31 Premier League goals took Brendan Rodgers’ team to within a whisker of a first top-flight title since 1990.
However, some of his other statistics from that campaign are worth touching on again.
The Uruguayan had 181 goal attempts, next among top-flight strikers was Olivier Giroud with 112. Suarez had 329 touches in opposing penalty boxes, Giroud was second again with 235. He attempted 264 dribbles, followed by Sergio Aguero on 115.
For all that Suarez had an infectious workrate, a great willingness to work the channels and harass lost causes, Liverpool were also great, apart from in the 2-0 late-season defeat to Chelsea, at working the ball into his feet in dangerous areas where he could wriggle, turn and manoeuvre himself into goal-scoring positions.
If there is another player currently in the Premier League that has the potential to be Suarez mark II, Alexis Sanchez seems the only real candidate.
Sanchez is arguably the hardest worker around, buzzing around in the hope of winning back possession, he loves to dribble, has a low centre of gravity that will pose problems and is single minded when it pays to be.
Arsenal have only managed three goals this season and two of these have come courtesy of the opposition, despite having 83 attempts on goal in four matches, which is unsurprisingly more than anyone else.
Giroud has been fairly wasteful, but continues to be preferred by Arsene Wenger, with Theo Walcott the only real understudy should anything happen to the Frenchman.
Wenger has been criticised for not signing a striker over the summer, but there is an argument that he already has the ideal frontman on his books already.
Sanchez has had the most shots this season despite not being Arsenal’s line leader, averaging five each game. This will surely only increase further if playing at centre forward and sitting on the shoulder of the last defender.
The likes of Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla should be able to get the ball into his feet in the box and then the onus is on the Chilean to make something happen.
Ladbrokes remain top price on Sanchez being the Premier League’s top scorer and should Wenger decide to turn him into a Suarez-like striker, this price will look monstrous.
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