Arsenal FC: Why Alexis Sanchez Is a Must-Buy for the Gunners

Matthew Celentano@@Gunner_NYCFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2014

Chile's Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and Chile at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

We may be in the middle of an exhilarating World Cup, but the Premier League's summer transfer window is officially open, and rumours have begun to fly.

Top Premier League clubs have already done some early business: Manchester City have signed Bacary Sagna and Fernando; Chelsea have signed Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa; and Liverpool have signed Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana. 

Arsenal are the only top-four club without any moves in the market yet—but does that really come as much of a surprise?

Manager Arsene Wenger is notoriously stingy when it comes to transfers—last summer he waited until deadline day to finally splash the cash on Mesut Ozil, with his only other transfers being the free signings of Yaya Sanogo and Mathieu Flamini.

This summer, however, it seems like things will be different.

Arsenal supporters say this every year, but now there are genuine reasons to believe the club will finally compete for big names in the market.

Ozil's signing was more than just the acquisition of a brilliant footballer—it was a statement of intent. It's expected that Wenger breaking Arsenal's transfer record to sign the former Real Madrid midfielder wasn't just an anomaly, but a signal of more world-class signings to come.

Then, of course, there's the new kit deal with Puma. According to Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph, the deal is worth around £30 million per year, which certainly gives Arsenal the capability to spend big money.

They are in desperate need of a striker, as Olivier Giroud is their only established forward, and the Gunners have been linked with virtually every front man in world football.

The latest rumor has Alexis Sanchez in a move to the Emirates, and this one seems like more than just speculation.

Wayne Veysey of Goal wrote that Arsenal have made a £32 million bid for Sanchez, with Arsene Wenger apparently meeting with the player's agent this week.

Additionally, Metro reported that Arsenal will offer Sanchez £130,000 per week to convince him to join.

With Sanchez apparently keen on a move to Arsenal rather than Liverpool—according to David Kent of Daily Mail—the Barcelona forward is a must-buy for Arsene Wenger.

Coming off an excellent World Cup for a Chile side who won over neutrals' hearts with their exhilarating brand of football, Sanchez would be an incredible signing for the Gunners for a few reasons.

A common problem with Arsenal last season was the lack of pace and variety in their attack.

With Theo Walcott injured for the second half of the campaign, there were few players who looked to get in behind defenders. Giroud often plays with his back to the goal—looking to hold up play or flick it on—while Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil create chances rather than receive them.

Sanchez would give Arsenal this pace and energy going forward that they desperately needed. One can just imagine what Ozil, Walcott and Sanchez would do together.

While Arsenal are in the market for a forward that can compete with (and even improve on) Giroud, Sanchez normally plays on the right wing for Barcelona.

No player besides Messi scored more goals for Barcelona last season than Sanchez
No player besides Messi scored more goals for Barcelona last season than SanchezDavid Ramos/Getty Images

That said, he does play centre-forward when needed and is capable of playing in virtually any attacking position. After all, Thierry Henry signed for Arsenal as a winger, and Wenger converted him into a striker—the rest, as they say, is history.

Not only is it possible that Wenger can turn Sanchez into a centre-forward, but the 25-year-old's versatility would certainly benefit Arsenal. The Gunners seem to be hit by an injury crisis just about every season, so having a player capable of adjusting his position is a real asset.

Then there's the fact that Sanchez is simply an immensely gifted footballer. Although he had a shaky first season at Camp Nou, despite scoring 15 goals, he developed into one of the club's best players in 2013/14.

With 21 goals and 12 assists in all competitions, only Lionel Messi scored more for Barcelona.

Looking at the numbers, it actually doesn't make much sense that Barcelona are seemingly willing to sell Sanchez, which only reaffirms that Arsenal must take advantage of the situation.

The consequences of not signing Sanchez could be costly.

As mentioned, it appears Sanchez would prefer Arsenal over Liverpool, but if Barca is selling, and Wenger decides to pull out of the deal, it's likely Sanchez would play for one of Arsenal's rivals next season, whether it be Liverpool, Manchester United or even Chelsea or Manchester City—can those two ever be ruled out of a transfer saga?

Sanchez is available, and Arsenal need a forward and have money.

While transfers aren't quite as straightforward as that, there's no good reason why Wenger shouldn't do everything in his power to ensure the Barcelona star is playing in North London next season.


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