Alexis Sanchez would provide an immediate upgrade for Arsenal up front.
Not often does a club come across the chance to acquire a player who could transform an entire team, but Arsenal may have that chance this summer.
Sanchez has been categorized as an "ideal fit" for Arsenal, with his former club's sporting director Fabrizio Larini noting:
Sanchez needs to play the ball on the ground, just like Arsenal. This would be his ideal game.
Sanchez hasn't had much opportunity to showcase his skills at Barcelona, playing behind the best player in the World in Lionel Messi and another World-class striker in David Villa. Indications are that Villa will return to Camp Nou, making Sanchez expendable.
While the competition for Sanchez's services will be intense, the Gunners would be smart to put him at the top of their offseason wish list. The Chilean forward has been a disappointment for Barcelona, but a change of scenery could be what Sanchez needs to finally break out.
Sanchez has proved he can compete with the best, excelling during his time at Udinese and displaying his talent in limited minutes with Barcelona. The past two years in Barcelona have been marred by injuries and a playing style that doesn't quite fit what Sanchez does well.
Barcelona is one of the best possession teams in the World, something Sanchez does not quite fit into well. Steven Bell points out how Barcelona's style of play and Sanchez's don't jibe explaining:
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Alexis Sanchez is now more reliant on using skill and dribbling to beat defenders and get in behind teams. Previously, his frightening pace would have been a key element to racing in behind defences, as Udinese utilized other runners in the team, creating spaces behind and committing defenders to pressing the ball more. This is difficult to do in a team where one player passes the ball more than the whole opposition, and with the aforementioned possession stats.
A move for Sanchez could revitalize his career and make the Gunners a much more dangerous team. Arsenal needs more firepower up front and Sanchez can provide them with that. Not only will Sanchez be a needed boost to a team that has failed to be explosive at times, but they would be getting a 24-year-old set to hit his prime.
Not often does a team get a chance to control such a young and talented player for the best years of his career. Injury issues are a concern, but his sheer talent alone should be enough to quell those worries.
A move for Alexis Sanchez would improve the Gunners not only in the short run, but it will give them a piece to build the future of their team around.