Arsenal Transfer News: Alexis Sanchez Should Be Gunners' Summer Priority

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2014

FC Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez, from Chile, reacts against Rayo Vallecano during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Barcelona have confirmed transfer offers have been made for Arsenal target Alexis Sanchez, and the Gunners should make the Chilean forward their top priority heading into the summer transfer window.

As reported by The Daily Mirror's Sam Marsden, Barcelona's sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta told reporters the club had received offers for Sanchez, acknowledging he doesn't know how the player's future will play out:

"Regarding the future of Alexis Sanchez, there have been offers for the player. But I do not know how it will all end—we are looking for a solution which will be best for everyone."

Sanchez enjoyed a very strong season with Barcelona and exploded during the 2014 World Cup, leading the Chilean team to the round of 16 with two goals and an assist. The forward was the team's main danger man and faced heavy marking throughout the tournament, yet still found a way to be productive.

The forward is an athletic marvel, and his movement all over the field is incredibly difficult to defend. Sanchez is always around the ball, and he's great at creating space for himself and his teammates.

Barcelona mainly use him as a winger, but he plays his best football in a more central role. Udinese used him in support of a striker before he made the move to Spain, and for Chile, Sanchez was the main target man himself.

Per, he scored 19 goals in 34 La Liga appearances last year, and he added 10 assists. For a wide player in Barcelona's system built around the scoring prowess of Lionel Messi, those are some impressive numbers.

Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Per Marsden, Sanchez would prefer to remain with the Catalan giants next season, but with the Blaugrana still potentially facing a transfer ban and looking to change things up following a disappointing campaign, the right offer could tempt the club into selling the Chilean, who plays at a position of strength for the club.

Arsenal have a number of capable wingers, but Sanchez would immediately add a level of athleticism the Gunners don't currently have out wide. More importantly, the Barcelona man has the versatility to play in a central role, and given his technical ability, he would be a fantastic fit for Arsene Wenger's passing philosophy.

Olivier Giroud is the team's designated starter at the striker position, and the French international has proven himself to be a solid option. Often maligned, his hard work playing near the box often goes unnoticed, and even though he'll never score 30 goals in a season, he's not a bad option up front at all.

Sanchez has the athletic ability and scoring touch Giroud lacks, and his tendency to move all over the pitch would open up a lot of running lanes Arsenal midfielders don't currently have playing with Giroud.

Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

The biggest question mark surrounding Sanchez would be his ability to play as a lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 system, as he's not the biggest and most physical player. Of course, such worries come with any transfers, and in the case of Sanchez, it might not matter all that much.

Because even if Sanchez fails as a centre-forward in Arsenal's system, he still has the ability to be one of the Premier League's top wingers. Playing in that position, he still scored more goals than any Gunner last season, via WhoScored.

No matter where he plays, he'd still present the Gunners with a clear upgrade at any of the attacking positions. World-class attacking options don't often become available on the transfer market, and with Sanchez potentially ready for a move, the Gunners should pounce.

Scoring goals wins you football matches, and that is something Sanchez does better than any player the Gunners currently field. Arsenal have to commit to bringing the Chilean to north London during the summer transfer window, more than any other target the club may be looking at.