Sanchez Trip to the Top Continues with Every Week

The Premier League has witnessed such a flow of talent, like Cesc Fabregas and Angel di Maria, in the summer that it would be easy to sweep Alexis Sanchez under the carpet. The former Barcelona and Udinese forward cost Arsenal £35 million, which is almost half that of Di Maria’s transfer fee. Yet, the consistency and the impact that Sanchez has had at Arsenal may be more important than that of Di Maria at United. Incredibly, Sanchez is now a third favourite at 14/1 in the Premier League top scorer betting odds from Betfair.

Since the 25-year-old is not a proper centre forward, he is unlikely to challenge Diego Costa or Sergio Aguero, who remain the favourites, for the Golden Boot award at the end of the season. For the impact that he has made and for the relatively low transfer fee, Sanchez could easily be named as the Player of the Year if he continues with his impressive form.

Sanchez scored two more goals against Burnley to help Arsenal get their third consecutive win in all competitions. This victory also helped them gain a major advantage over Liverpool and Manchester United, who suffered defeats last weekend.

Arsene Wenger has not been shy to praise Sanchez since the start of the season. It would also be the case of those connected with Arsenal. The applause has not been unequivocal from all corners since the likes of Diego Costa, Di Maria, and Cesc Fabregas have been grabbing all the attention so far. Sanchez appears to be moving into the limelight, which seems more than justified, after his goals against Sunderland and Burnley.

Admittedly, these are two teams struggling near the bottom of the league. They also have one of the worst defensive records in Europe’s top leagues, but that should not take anything away from Sanchez and his incredible statistics. It would have been fair to expect goals or assists from Sanchez. The Chilean, though, has also contributed in the defensive side of things, which is a major boost for the club. Sanchez has seven goals in eight league starts, while he has also set up two more. A bigger contribution comes in his ability to prevent the opposition from starting the attacks. Despite being a forward, he has ranked as one of the best tacklers in this Arsenal team with an average of 2.3 tackles per game. This statistic is bettered by only Mathieu Debuchy, Mathieu Flamini, and Calum Chambers (all of whom are focused on defending). It is this workrate that appears to have helped him overcome the tag of being the ‘next Mesut Ozil’.

The German international did not only cost a lot of money, but he also came with a reputation of not giving 100% in the defensive area of the pitch. This has been proven by several statistics not to be the truth, but the undesirable reputation continues to stick with Ozil. Sanchez is highly unlikely to be classified under that category going by the statistics he has set in his first few months at Arsenal.

The high-profile defeats against the likes of Chelsea have seen Arsenal written off as title challengers this season. A look at the table, though, reveals that the Gunners are just three points behind Manchester City, who appear to be firmly in the title race with Chelsea. It is vital that Wenger’s team carry this form after the international break when they take on the likes of Manchester United and Southampton.

This good run of form has seen Arsenal’s position improve in the eyes of bookmakers. At the start of the season, they were placed as the fourth favourites – or even behind Liverpool on some occasions – for the Premier League top four finish odds. The back-to-back victories, though, has substantially helped them and they are now third behind City and Chelsea. Betfair backs Arsenal at a much healthier 4/11 to finish in the top four.

Meanwhile, Sanchez has struggled for a perfect home at his previous clubs like Udinese and Barcelona. If he continues in the same vein of form, the 25-year-old could be a very important player for Arsenal. He only has the best years ahead of him.

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