Alexis Sanchez has been well off his 2016/17 form in this current campaign, so we’re asking if it’s time to give someone else a chance in the team?
When the season first got underway, Alexis was given an extended break after his summer at the Confederations Cup. That, combined with the large amount of speculation about his future, meant that pundits took it relatively easy on him when he started the season off with a poor performance against Liverpool.
Then, the Chilean scored in his second start, against FC Köln, and most fans expected him to get back to the sort of form he produced last season.
But it hasn’t happened.
Now eight starts into the season, and 10 appearances in total, Alexis has still only scored two goals. Though that goal against Köln came at a very important time, the other was a late finish in the already comfortable win over Everton.
Other than that, Sanchez’s teammates have had to step up to the task of winning games for him, and, if anything, the 28-year-old has held the Gunners back on occasion.
That certainly seemed to be the case against Manchester City.
Questions were being asked about Alexis’ ability to put transfer speculation out of his mind, to help Arsenal to an unlikely result that would require full focus from every member of the 11. The level of scrutiny increased when it turned out Alexis would be starting up front instead of club record signing Alexandre Lacazette, and the pressure was on to perform.
Instead, Alexis put in one of his worst performances yet. Two corners went directly to the nearest City player allowing a couple of dangerous counter attacks while one poor shot was the best he could muster in terms of attacking threat.
If that’s how he plays when Arsenal need him, maybe it’s time to look elsewhere.
So who are the other options?
1. Alex Iwobi
Iwobi performed well against Chelsea, and it was his nice turn that opened up the game for Ramsey to play in Lacazette for the Gunners’ only goal against City. Many fans on social media like to criticise Iwobi when things go wrong, but generally I feel he’s made a scapegoat, and is performing much better than people think. Not to mention he has the same number of league goals as Alexis this season, from 330 minutes to Alexis’ 544.
2. Danny Welbeck
Welbeck will be returning from his second injury in two months after the international break, and he still has more goals than Alexis. What’s more, you always know what you’re getting with Danny. He’ll give his all for the team, he’ll track back, and he links up well with teammates as well. Right now, I can’t see what Alexis is adding that Welbeck couldn’t bring too.
3. Jack Wilshere
Most fans would probably prefer to see Jack played a bit further back, but in the front three in the Europa League this season he’s been dangerous. Wilshere was only denied by a goal-line clearance in his most recent appearance in the competition against Red Star Belgrade, it was his driving run that helped created the goal in the away game in Serbia, and he also provided an assist against Borisov in the match before that. It’s an option worth considering, at least.
4. Reiss Nelson
Reiss is unlikely to come straight into the first team, but he’s a player whose game is made for this role. He’s good in tight areas, willing to run at people and take them on, and was scoring freely for the youth teams before he was moved out to wing-back for the senior side. If Wenger gives him a chance as a forward in the final Europa League games and Reiss takes it, then why not try him out in the Premier League too?
5. Eddie Nketiah
Nketiah has scored as many goals as Alexis in all competitions, and he hasn’t even started a game yet. That leap to win the header against Norwich was a bigger show of desire than anything we’ve seen from the Chilean this season.
Again, he’s young, and probably won’t come straight into the Premier League team without getting Europa League/League Cup starts first, but Eddie is an Arsenal fan jumping at the chance to play for the first team. You know he’d give his all, and won’t be off to City at the end of the season.