After three-and-a-half years, it’s time to say goodbye to Alexis Sanchez, who is leaving Arsenal for Manchester United. Did the Chilean live up to the hype in North London?
In all, Sanchez made 166 appearances for the Gunners.
He scored 80 goals, and provided 46 assists, so a goal contribution every 1.32 games.
That’s a very good record indeed, and those goals brought a lot of important wins and a couple of trophies.
Most prominently, Sanchez scored a goal in each of the two cup finals he made it to with Arsenal. Plus, he provided an assist for Theo Walcott in the 2015 final as well.
Neither of his goals were winning goals, but they were still important.
Here are Alexis’ stats for Arsenal against each of the big-six clubs:
- Chelsea – 10 matches, 2 goals, 1 assist
- Manchester City – 8 matches, 3 goals, 1 assist
- Manchester United – 8 matches, 2 goals
- Spurs – 7 matches, 2 goals
- Liverpool – 7 matches, 2 goals, 2 assists
Overall, that’s 40 matches, 11 goals and four assists. A very solid record, and honestly Arsenal rarely gave him the chance to do much better.
I do think there are some points that count against the Chilean.
For one thing, in three years of Champions League knockout rounds, Sanchez scored one goal, and provided one assist.
The goal was a penalty rebound, after he failed to score the initial effort from the spot. The assist was an innocuous pass to Elneny who curled a fantastic shot into the top corner at Camp Nou.
Maybe Arsenal could have done more to help him. I still think failing to contribute anything against Monaco, when the Gunners lost out by just one goal, has to count against the 29-year-old.
I also have to mention this campain.
Arsenal played some great football, Özil was indisputably world class, and by March Sanchez had just six goals and two assists. Those six goals came in just three consecutive matches, and at one stage he went on an 11-game goal drought.
The forward’s performance against Manchester United in the 3-2 loss arguably ended the Gunners title charge.
After that, when all hope was lost, he suddenly turned it on and managed seven goals and three assists.
If he had played like all season, with only Leicester ahead of Arsenal, the Gunners could’ve won the title.
Every other year, I don’t think the club did enough to support Sanchez, but in 2015/16 it’s on him as much as anyone.
If we are mentioning the 15/16 season, we should also note that, despite claims he is the perfect professional, Alexis downed tools for a large portion of this season after he failed to get his deadline day move to Manchester City.
He was a negative influence on the team with his on-pitch tantrums and selfishness, blaming others for everything that went wrong while he continued to be incredibly wasteful with the ball.
He has seven goals and three assists in 19 league games this season and eight and four in 22 overall. He had scored only four league goals before December 22nd when he seemed to remember the January window would open soon and he sprung to life with three goals in four games.
A goal every 214 minutes is far from the giddy heights of last season when he was hitting the back of the net every 141 minutes.
Overall, two FA Cups and three Community Shields is a good haul for a three-and-a-half year spell.
It could and should have been more, but once Sanchez made his mind up this summer, the fairy-tale ended.
Unfortunately he decided to stay in the Premier League and join a rival, which makes things worse.
I can’t complain too much about his contributions to Arsenal, as he gave supporters a big name to get excited about, flashy goals and assists, and a couple of trophies.
It’s just not quite everything we hoped for.
Nor is he…