A recent article on Squawka has highlighted eight statistics which have suggested Alexis is currently part of Arsenal’s problem.
The 28-year-old Chilean has scored 20 goals and created 17 assists across all competitions this term. However, his reluctance to sign a new contract suggests he wants to leave at the end of the campaign.
The statistics are as follows:
- Most unsuccessful through balls
- Fewer chances created in the penalty area than Mesut Ozil
- Most unsuccessful take-ons at Arsenal
- 73% passing accuracy
- 17% aerial duels won
- Fewer goals per 90 than Ozil, Walcott and Giroud in the Champions League
- Goals against the current top six, 6 in 3 seasons
- Distance covered, less than 10km in every 90-minute match he has played
When you look at the stats on first viewing, some of them are quite revealing. But equally, once you delve deeper, a genuine reason for almost all of them can be identified.
Debunking the statistics
In terms of most unsuccessful through balls and a low passing accuracy percentage, Alexis is more adventurous with his play and rarely tries safe options. Balancing risk with reward, it allows him to flourish by catching opponents off-guard and supplying teammates with chances.
As for fewer chances created in the penalty area than Özil, why is that a surprise? Mesut is Arsenal’s creator-in-chief so something would be wrong if Alexis was creating more than him.
In terms of take-ons, he is just as successful. With 71 completed in the Premier League this term, he has the most in the side. Although his decision-making is occasionally frustrating when he opts to try and dribble past one too many opponents, he’s still the best in that department at the club.
Not being as good in the air isn’t a surprise, either. At 5ft 6in, he has a good leap but shouldn’t be expected to win many aerial duels against hefty opposition players.
Fewer goals than Özil, Walcott and Giroud per 90 in the Champions League, correct. Where he has played more minutes than all three and this stat has been selectively chosen.
Six goals against the top six in three seasons is disappointing, no doubt about that. But how many of those games have Arsenal actually won?
I’ve taken time to research and despite scoring seven, not the initial figure of six given, Arsenal have only won four out of the 24 games that Alexis has been involved in.
If you criticise Sanchez for a lack of goal contribution when it matters (seven goals, four assists) against the bigger Premier League sides, you have to do the same with the rest of the team too.
Distance covered is another debatable one.
Many feel as though Sanchez’s direct running means he’s immune to criticism. He’s not, but since taking up a central striking role, he doesn’t have to run as much as you would on the wing – where you have to track back tirelessly and consequently cover more ground.
As you can see, these statistics are a matter of opinion and although Alexis isn’t perfect, information like this just prompts more unnecessary criticism of key players.