Whilst we are all waiting to see how Arsenal moves next in our pursuit of a new incoming striker at the Emirates, Gunner’s legend Thierry Henry has raised a very good question as to whether we already have a capable striker at the club, just under a new formation.
Henry had his say on the matter in his latest media piece and he was quick to suggest that perhaps Arsenal’s very own Alexis Sanchez could be the man to partner Olivier Giroud up front, in what would be a big formation change for the Gunners. Henry: said: ‘You can see that (Olivier) Giroud becomes a better player when he has people around him. Look how he played for France with Antoine Griezmann. He is very good when he can flick and hold up play – his link-up play is second to none – but he needs players around him making runs behind him. When I see Sanchez play for Chile, he is up front, free. Not on the left, not on the right. That might be something. If Alexis can be used in and around Giroud, instead of being wide, both of them will benefit from that.’
Henry makes a good point about how Giroud looked like a more complete forward not having the pressure of playing as a lone striker, as he had the support from other forward men in the French national team. Sanchez also plays the striker role for Chile and has proven to be very effective in that position in recent Copa America’s and the 2014 World Cup. With that in mind, I’m sure he’d have no real problems adjusting to a new role in the Premier League. If Wenger was to buy another forward to play alongside Giroud rather than to use Sanchez, then it needs to be someone with pace and someone who can create as well as be the all important goalscorer. Perhaps we should just sign Antoine Griezmann, right Thierry? Oh we can wish!
In all seriousness Henry does make a good point on the matter and perhaps if Arsenal don’t manage to secure a world class striker this summer, then maybe Arsene Wenger should look into utilising Sanchez as a striker alongside Giroud. The only real issue with that however is that we then severely lack in quality on the wings, or if the formation would have to change completely in order to play two strikers on the pitch.
With two strikers up front, it’s likely that the wingers would be lost, but then Ozil has to remain as a number ’10’ or Central Attacking Midfielder, rather than be pushed out to an unfavourable mid-wing position. This means that the entire formation may have to change to utilise Sanchez as a striker and would that mean that Arsenal’s transfer targets would have to change accordingly?
The thought of Sanchez and Giroud up top certainly raises a lot of questions for Arsenal fans and Arsene Wenger to think about tactically, but is it something that could work out for The Gunners?