It is not a rumour in the mill, neither a speculation in the tabloid and not even a deal in the pipeline. The Sanchez to Arsenal from Barca move has been sealed, signed and delivered after the Gunners confirmed his capture yesterday. It is certainly good news for Arsenal as the Gunners have made their mark on the transfer window. Arsenal fans were getting frustrated that the Gunners might not sign early in the summer transfer window and with their rivals already making their marks in the transfer market. With the capture of Sanchez, Arsenal has made a big impact in the window. Fans can smile again.
What does Sanchez bring to the table? In some quarters, it is believed that the Chilean might be coming in to replace Giroud in the starting line-up but I don’t think so. Though the former Barca man can play anywhere across the front line but he is likely going to be deployed on the wings when everyone is fit, Giroud rarely gets injured. For Barca, he spent most of his time operating from the right wing but he is likely going to be deployed on the left wing at Arsenal. The Gunners’ right wing is already in good hands with English speed star Theo Walcott and when fit, he had been ever present in that position but the left wing is a position that is yet to have the heir to the throne.
Wenger has experimented with German attacker Podolski, Spanish playmaker Santi Cazorla and even German playmaker Mesut Ozil in that position at different times last season. But with the coming of Sanchez, Wenger doesn’t need to experiment anymore. At some point last season when Walcott was craving for a central striking role, Wenger said he was unlikely to get that chance since he wants to have a winger who can churn in goals on a regular basis. Walcott when fit, was a good goal outlet for Arsenal. In the top of the bill match against City last season, he scored a brace and also bagged a brace against West Ham.
Sanchez had a good goal scoring run for Barca last season and operating on the left wing, he could help chip in a fair share of goals. Last season, Podolski operated on the left wing but doesn’t seem at home playing there because he doesn’t like tracking back to defend and that gives Sanchez the edge. The Chilean is at home defending and also dropping to the midfield to take the ball and initiate attack.
As for the playmakers Cazorla and Ozil that have been used as pseudo wingers, there won’t be need for them playing in that position anymore. Now, they will have to face their playmaking responsibility in the central midfield position. The only problem is that the likes of Ozil, Cazorla and Rosciky might have to vie for just the solitary central attacking midfield slot. That will create rivalry amongst them; hopefully, it will be a healthy one that would bring out the best in the players.
Another thing Sanchez would be bringing to Arsenal is raw pace. In the past, the pace in Arsenal’s attack has been one sided, only from Walcott and that made it easy to stifle the Gunners’ attack. The secret was peg down Walcott and Arsenal’s attack would lack pace but with the coming of Sanchez, stopping Arsenal’s attack would be difficult since the Gunners would have ample pace to put on both wings.
The Arsenal team are excited at the arrival of Sanchez, the same way they were when the impossible happened with Ozil on deadline day last summer but it is the German playmaker that would be most excited. Ozil had an indifferent maiden season at Arsenal. It wasn’t really his fault, last season; he didn’t have the kind of player that would bring the best out of his game. Ozil is a great passer of the ball but he needs quick players to latch on to those passes. Giroud isn’t the quickest and Walcott that is fast had an injury ravaged season. Hopefully, Sanchez and Walcott would stay fit and everyone would see the best of Ozil.
Who would have known that Ozil and Sanchez would ever get to play together considering the fact that they played for arch-rivals (Real Madrid and Barca respectively), Only Arsene Wenger could have made that happen.
2014/2015 season would see Ozil’s passing magic combine with Sanchez’s pace to propel Arsenal to the Premier League title.