Chilean World Cup superstar Alexis Sanchez is now a Gunner. The crafty forward has completed a 30+ million euro move to make the switch from Camp Nou to the North London team. He has agreed to a four year, 140,000 euro-a-week contract, putting him on the same salary as play maker Mesut Ozil. After weeks of speculation whether Sanchez would choose Liverpool, Arsenal, or Juventus, the Gunners seem to have convinced the player that North London is the right fit for his skill set.
Arsene Wenger has brought in a player who will add a new attack to the nearly one dimensional Arsenal. Last season, Arsenal played a very tiki-taka like style, including lots of intricate passing. Not to say that they will not continue with this style, but Alexis’s addition will give Arsenal a player that can dribble at defenses with pace. Possibly lined up at either striker, left wing, or right wing, Sanchez will no doubt trouble defenses in any of those positions. Lined up across from Theo Walcott or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal will offer blisteringly quick counter attacks, as well as pace when going forward.
Sanchez also has a clinical nature that will allow him to play either with, or instead of, current striker Oliver Giroud. Sanchez has proven with Chile that he can thrive at striker. While only recording two goals and one assist in four games in the 2014 World Cup, Sanchez created many chances for his teammates by being the danger man. This is the biggest aspect that Alexis will bring to Arsenal. Since Robin Van Persie‘s departure, Arsenal have lacked a player that can consistently score goals. At his time in Barcelona, Sanchez made 112 appearances in La Liga and Champions League matches. In these games he scored 42 goals and distributed 27 assists. However, in the spotlight at Arsenal he will thrive, and he will be expected to be the constant goal threat for the Gunners.
Sanchez also has a tremendous work rate. He gets back to defend and uses his tactical awareness to make the right tackles to prevent a counterattack. In the 2013-2014 season Alexis made 71 tackles, and won 50 them. This ability to work hard will help aid the Arsenal defense and stop counterattacks, where Arsenal was often exposed last season.
Many were surprised when Barcelona announced they would be selling Alexis Sanchez. Arsenal snatched up the man that was 5 goals away from averaging one goal per every two games in La Liga appearances, scoring 39 in 88 appearances. Arsenal fans will be delighted with the quality of the signing, as well as the ambition the club is showing. Hopefully for Arsenal fans, the signing of Alexis so early in the transfer window will prove to other big name players such as Sami Khedira, that Arsenal are serious title contenders, and even ready to fight for a Champions League trophy.