Alexis Sanchez’s Struggles
There was some doubt when Arsenal decided to trade Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United during the January transfer window this year, with most of the concern directed at the fact that the Arsenal team would no longer have the strength of any true wingers on their side. Even with Henrikh Mkhitaryan joining the team, the loss of Sanchez was felt by both teammates and fans alike.
One of the concerns that have surrounded Mkhitaryan since he joined is his predilection to move toward central areas on the field; a similar play-style to Mesut Ozil. The idea behind their strategy is to pick up on positions that seem difficult to mark, and then finish off a play through a series of passes and crosses, opening up more chances for fellow players.
While that style of play is not inherently a collective disadvantage to the team, it does became a problem when a number or all of the team plays with the same strategy, leaving them open to interpretation and allowing for a strong defence from the opposing team.
Sanchez Battling with Man Utd
Since his transfer to Manchester United, Sanchez has been battling on the field. He’s felt more and more criticism coming his way in the last few months, and he’s mostly failed to follow in the defensive strategy of Jose Mourinho.
Without a doubt, however, the biggest disappointment for fans is the number of times that Sanchez has lost control of the ball – enough to even affect local and Australian sports betting numbers. Although he tended to be the kind of player that preferred to pass the ball on while he played under the Arsenal banner, his numbers at Manchester United have dropped considerably, especially when it comes to his pass completion and dribble success rates.
A Loss For Both
It’s been pointed out that Sanchez’s loss of the ball during his time with Manchester United was not necessary – and that the same strategy would be much more beneficial to Arsenal, a team that needs more players who are willing to take chances, even if those chances don’t always work out; they are still the favourite option.
The loss of Sanchez not only hurt the player himself – which we can see with his lower stats over the last six months – but also Arsenal, who have been forced into a position where they always play it safe. While they may never see Sanchez again on the team, they do need to start looking for a replacement that can emulate his style and introduce a more adventurous side that the team sorely lacks at the moment.