FC Barcelona

Alexis Sanchez: How Barcelona Can Use Him with Messi and Neymar

Alexis Sanchez arrived to Barcelona in 2011. He has 20 goals in 54 appearances.
Alexis Sanchez arrived to Barcelona in 2011. He has 20 goals in 54 appearances.Angel Martinez/Getty Images
Karla Villegas GamaFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2013

In the last four months of the 2012-2013 season Alexis Sanchez reminded us how talented he is. With a new campaign just around the corner, the Chile international has a lot to offer to Neymar and Messi.

Sanchez is strong and fast. He works through the right wing in style and tracks back like anyone else in Barça. He fights and recovers the ball constantly and assists accurately.

He is no stranger to goal either. He scored eight times in La Liga—six of them in seven games—, twice in the Copa del Rey and once in the Champions League.

As a ball feeder, Alexis was the third best of the club with 12 assists: nine in the local league, two in the Champions League and one in the Copa del Rey.

Sanchez lacks consistency, though. The expectations were high since he had a stellar role with Udinese. However, the 24-year-old has had a lot of trouble adjusting to the tiki-taka.

He will fight for the starting position with Pedro, another bright footballer that has proven to be in shape and more comfortable with Barcelona’s pace.

If Alexis starts the next season with the same consistency he finished the last one, he has a good chance to play next to Messi and Neymar and create a lethal South American trifecta.

Neymar has both the speed and technique that many envy. He can create his own goal opportunities and is very unbalancing. Sanchez brings a lot of physical strength to the pitch. He also knows how to create danger in key areas mainly because he cuts from inside like few.

The Brazilian knows how a right-winger thinks. He played this position occasionally with Santos, needless to say he was very successful. If he can to combine his attributes with Alexis’ they will make an awesome partnership.

On the other hand, Messi is evasive and skillful, and with Neymar coming from the center, the Argentinean will not have the full responsibility of the attack. This will give the team more options.

If Sanchez adds his creativity to the mix, and manages to balance his strengths as an attacker with the defensive ones, he may well earn the position. Both his depth and his lethal passes are the key to making this trio work.

 

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