Seven goals in 17 games this season isn’t a bad return for a winger, but Alexis Sánchez is a lot more than that.
A closer look tells you he has scored in just four games, which all came in a row. The season started with eight goalless appearances (six starts). Since his purple patch ended with a strike against Watford, he hasn’t scored in five games and has managed just one shot on target (for which he was offside) in that time.
Arsenal have had 24 shots on target in that period, and it’s incredibly odd for Alexis not to contribute heavily. Last year, in his first season at Arsenal, the entire team was managing six shots on target per game and the Chilean was taking over two of them. One in his previous five games is just abnormal, and he doesn’t look his typically explosive self.
Is he tired? Off the back of a busy (and ultimately successful) Copa América in the summer he was thrown on to try and save Arsenal’s first game of the season against West Ham United, and has started all 11 Premier League matches since.
Last season, the Chilean played in 35 of Arsenal’s Premier League games but scored just four in his last 15 appearances.
According to the Mirror, injuries to Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott now have Arsène Wenger eager to give Alexis a rest period at some point to prevent him picking up an injury. A refreshed Alexis would surely boost Arsenal’s hopes of winning the Premier League title, but Wenger needs other players fit again before he can risk taking Alexis out of the side.
Giving the forward a break would be brilliant, as long as it didn’t come at a high cost. The Gunners are level on points with Manchester City right now and – even though he isn’t influencing results anyway at the moment – any points dropped without Alexis on the pitch would see Wenger come under heavy scrutiny.