It is inevitable that the players who star for their teams in the World Cup will be the focus of the rumour mill and are more than likely to be courted by a number of teams after the tournament. With a popular Chile side suffering the heartbreak of losing to Brazil on penalties, a number of their players will now seen as hot property after some excellent performances. One of the names that will be under the spotlight is Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez, who is heavily linked with a move to the Premier League with both Liverpool and Arsenal looking to snap up the 25-year-old.
Undoubtedly the linchpin of an exciting Chile side, Sanchez led the line brilliantly for side throughout their matches in the World Cup. Being thrown into a solid group containing the two teams that contested the final four years ago, Holland and Spain, as well as Australia was never going to be easy. However, the cohesion and team spirit within the players was clear from the first match after racing into a 2-0 lead within the first 15 minutes against the Socceroos. Sanchez notched the first of his two goals in the tournament with the opener and demonstrating the qualities of a world class player.
Sanchez and co then masterminded a historic victory against World Champions Spain, after outplaying Vicente Del Bosque’s side from start to finish. The 2-0 win was enough to send the South American side through to much jubilation from their fans, who had turned out in numbers.
After finishing second in Group B, they were drawn against hosts Brazil in the last 16. After a close contest which many will say that Chile slightly edged, the match finished 1-1 after 120 minutes after Sanchez himself cancelled out David Luiz’s opener. The Barcelona forward’s only blip in the tournament was the missed penalty in a dramatic shoot out with Chile eventually bowing out with their head held high.
It will be another interesting summer with Sanchez’s name being linked to a number of clubs, including Arsenal and Liverpool, as well as the likes of Juventus. With Barcelona going through a transitional period of some sort, they may listen to offers for the forward who was quite impressive for the Catalan side, but didn’t always receive the praise he deserved. If a large sum of money is put on the table, Barcelona will have to consider the offer at least with amounts around £30 million being mentioned.
When comparing Sanchez to current Liverpool and Arsenal players, you can see that his statistics in terms of an attacking threat are more than a match for players on either team. Sanchez was only behind Suarez and Sturridge in the goal scoring charts but the Liverpool duo do tend to play further up than the Barcelona man. The Chilean also registered more goals than any Arsenal player during the course of last season, with only Giroud coming closest with 16 goals, signifying the need to add another quality forward to their ranks.
In terms of assists, Sanchez is again one of the highest achievers with 10. Suarez being the only other to assist on more occasions. That means that the likes of Sterling, Ramsey and even Ozil were behind the 25-year-old, indicating the impact he could have on others when playing well.
His figures are even more impressive when considering Ozil created 29 more chances and Suarez created 40 more but only bettered Sanchez by two assists. This may be to do with his Barcelona team mates and their finishing abilities but you can’t take away the fact that the quality is still evident from the forward.
What can he offer?
Liverpool – The Reds obviously need to strengthen in order to maintain the form they showed during the last season when they finished second. Their downfall was the lack of quality outside the first 11 and it is something that Rodgers has already looked to improve this summer. The likes of Lambert and Can have been announced whilst the arrival of Lallana is imminent but a marquee signing like Sanchez would have the Anfield faithful very optimistic going into the next campaign. With Liverpool back in the Champions League, they will need quality reinforcements so players like Sanchez will be a great addition to the team. With the controversy surrounding Suarez during the World Cup, there are strong rumours that he may leave Liverpool this summer with Barcelona the favourites for the Uruguayan. Although Suarez will be awfully hard to replace, a deal may be on the table for Sanchez to go in the other direction in a cash plus player deal. Watch this space.
Arsenal – There is no hiding from the fact that Arsenal desperately need more firepower up front. Giroud did his best last season but you could see that he lacked the presence up front to trouble defenders on a regular basis, despite his 16 goals. With Walcott missing for the majority of last season, as well as a number of other key members of the squad, Arsene Wenger was left with a paper thin squad. Sanchez would bring a cutting edge to their attacks and more importantly someone who could consistently make a difference in the final third. With Sanogo the only back up for Giroud last season, Arsenal fans will want Wenger to boost their striking options, with Sanchez fitting the bill perfectly.
One thing is for sure, having someone like Alexis Sanchez playing in the Premier League can only be a good thing.