Even though he is widely recognised as one of the best attacking options that Arsenal have in our squad, we have rarely seen the Chile international Alexis Sanchez in the key centre forward position. Needs must, of course, so Arsene Wenger felt he had to give him a go through the middle against Liverpool last weekend because of the limited options available.
It is fair to say that it did not work and you could even say that as well as having no cut and thrust through the middle, we also missed the sharpness of Sanchez on the left flank, but it appears that our manager is planning to give the Chilean another chance in the central role away to Leicester City today.
Wenger spoke earlier in the week about not risking all of the latecomers from Euro 2016 and I took that to mean that Olivier Giroud would probably be on the bench, so when the boss used another Arsenal.com report to talk up the qualities of Alexis, comparing him to Barcelona star Luis Suarez and suggesting that he could have a future as a centre forward I got the distinct impression that he would get another chance to prove it today.
Wenger said, “I think it is worth it to try as he has the quality to go behind. Honestly he did not have the most convincing game [against Liverpool] – he is one of them who is not completely ready physically. We did not dominate the game as much as we would have liked in midfield and he suffered a little bit from that as well. But on the flanks he uses a lot of energy by chasing back and I would like to use his energy sometimes a bit more efficiently by going behind the defenders as he is a good finisher. He has played centre forward at Barcelona.
“He has similar qualities [to Suarez] and he has a good timing to run behind the defenders. His run through in the first half [against Liverpool], when Monreal gave him the ball, he was just offside, by a fraction. Let’s see. It is interesting to see how well he copes there. He is technically top.
“With him it is difficult to be careful. Last year sometimes I overplayed him a little bit and he is always looking to stay on the pitch. Maybe I will have to rest him a bit more, yes.”
Will Arsenal start with Sanchez in the middle and if so will it work?