Arsène Wenger praised Alexis Sánchez’s progress in a new central striker role for Arsenal, likening the Chilean to Barcelona forward Luis Suárez.

As quoted by FourFourTwo, Wenger said the following: “First of all I had big competition up front. I thought Welbeck could play there, Giroud was playing there with different qualities and I reflected for a long time at the end of the season. I decided to try Sanchez [up front]. He has similarities with Luis Suárez.”

With Danny Welbeck (knee) ruled out of action until the start of 2017, as well as Olivier Giroud’s continual injury issues since the start of the new campaign, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Wenger opted to play Sanchez in a more central attacking role.

Despite this though, plenty of people were questioning the decision, saying he was better suited to playing on the wing where he could create chances easily with more freedom as opposed to patiently waiting for service from team-mates in attack.

His tireless nature out of possession was rewarded with a well-taken goal in our 3-0 win over Chelsea last weekend, after he forced Gary Cahill into a mistake before dinking a close-range effort past a helpless Thibaut Courtois. (Photo source: Shaun Botterill / Getty Images)
His tireless nature out of possession was rewarded with a well-taken goal in our 3-0 win over Chelsea last weekend, after he forced Gary Cahill into a mistake before dinking a close-range effort past a helpless Thibaut Courtois. (Photo source: Shaun Botterill / Getty Images)

Wenger admitted that Alexis was “not convincing” in the position during the first two matches he’d played him there, and started to question whether his decision was the wrong one. With that being said though, the boss stuck with his choice and Sánchez’s recent performances have suggested it was the best decision.

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“Game after game, he’s growing into this position and getting better and better. Where he’s strong is that he can dribble, finish and he can also give a final ball.”

Alexis was threatening throughout against Basel in midweek, and despite his own frustration in-front of goal on the evening, assisted Theo Walcott (far left) twice as the Englishman netted his second Champions League brace in style. (Photo source: Glyn Kirk / Getty Images)
Alexis was threatening throughout against Basel in midweek, and despite his own frustration in-front of goal on the evening, assisted Theo Walcott (far left) twice as the Englishman netted his second Champions League brace in style. (Photo source: Glyn Kirk / Getty Images)

Sánchez has netted five goals, created five assists and made 16 chances in total this season from eight matches (all competitions), and will be hoping for many more as the season continues to intensify.

Stats’ source: Squawka