After Danny Welbeck scored his fourth goal of the season against West Ham United on Tuesday, he’s staking a claim to start over Alexis Sanchez in Friday’s meeting with Liverpool.
Despite all his injury problems, Welbeck has made a relatively promising start to the 2017/18 campaign. The striker is yet to net in Europe, but domestically he has four goals and an assist in seven starts.
Alexis Sanchez did score in his only Europa League appearance, but domestically his statistics are very similar. The Chilean has four goals and fours assists in 14 league and cup starts.
The 29-year-old’s defensive contribution is hardly worth mentioning in comparison to Welbeck’s, and Sanchez’s inability to retain possession is unmatched in the Arsenal team.
Alexis Sanchez lost possession 32 times vs. Southampton.
That's two short of the most by an Arsenal player in a single game this season… Alexis Sanchez vs. Man Utd (34) pic.twitter.com/TpywK2xfRB
— ArsenalFanTV (@ArsenalFanTV) December 11, 2017
The saving grace for the former Barcelona man is always his goal contributions. Last season, the forward scored 30 goals and assisted 19 times in 51 appearances. There’s no point trying to convince fans to think about possession stats when he’s playing like that.
But when Alexis can’t even score more goals than his English teammate in the league and cup, despite twice as many starts, it might be time for a change in the team selection.
The match against Liverpool on Friday might come too soon, however, since Welbeck played on Tuesday. But after that, Wenger should think hard about who is contributing the most to the team, in my opinion.
Especially if Sanchez might end up leaving in January anyway.