Alexis Sanchez Slammed by Steve Nicol After 'Awful' Arsenal Debut

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Alexis Sanchez Slammed by Steve Nicol After 'Awful' Arsenal Debut
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Arsenal's star buy of the summer Alexis Sanchez has come in for heavy criticism from Liverpool legend Steve Nicol, who slammed the player for an "awful" Premier League debut against Crystal Palace.

Ashley Clements of the Daily Mail reports that the former defender was scathing in his assessment of the Chile playmaker on ESPN: "Sanchez was awful. His delivery, whether it was set pieces or from a rolling ball, it was horrendous. It was either too long, too short or too high. He just didn't get one right, but you have to say he's going to have a World Cup hangover."

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Nicol was also critical of Sanchez's attacking partner Olivier Giroud, saying the French international "needs more a rest from the looks of it."

Arsenal still managed to find their way past a resilient Crystal Palace and eventually won the game 2-1. Sanchez assisted the Gunners' first goal from a free-kick as Arsene Wenger's team battled their way back into contention.

Sanchez arrived at the Emirates after his dramatic capture from Barcelona in a £30 million deal, per Clements.

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And pundit Martin Keown believes Alexis' arrival at Arsenal is a magnificent piece of business, as stated in his recent Daily Mail column:

People will say I’m biased but I still think Alexis Sanchez is the deal of the summer.

I remember watching him at the World Cup and thinking that he would be a player who will really light up Arsenal’s team and bang, Arsene Wenger goes and gets him.

He cost a lot of money but he’s a total footballer and he just doesn’t stop running. He’s not a dribbler who likes to go past his opponent and put his foot on the ball for a breather. He’s all over you all the time. I love that energy he has and it will be infectious on the rest of the team.

Despite Nicol's assessment, Sanchez has a true pedigree at the top end of European football, having succeeded in Serie A and La Liga. 

In his 136 starts for club and country since 2009, Sanchez has hit the back of the net 61 times, per WhoScored.com, and he also provided a very credible 38 assists.

He is undoubtedly one of the elite attacking talents in world football, and Wenger has somehow managed to grab one of planet's most exciting flair players yet again, after Mesut Ozil's signing 12 months ago. 

Sanchez was excellent during his time at Barcelona and did little to cause any concerns about his overall contribution. The signing of Luis Suarez meant he was no longer needed at the Camp Nou, but he was never going to be short of suitors.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

His debut for Arsenal might have been low key in terms of his usual game, but the Premier League is the toughest competition in the world. He will be heavily marked in matches and will not be afforded some of the attacking space he found in Spain. 

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But as he works out the tactical elements of English football, he is sure to shine. Thierry Henry found a way of being a wide attacking player and transforming into a goal machine, and Sanchez shows a similar promise in his DNA.

If Wenger can find a way of utilising both Alexis and Ozil in the same team as well as the goalscoring midfield brilliance of Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal will certainly compete for silverware this season and beyond.

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