Pay the man, Arsene! Sign up Alexis Sanchez ASAP – analysis

FFT's Ben Welch analyses the significance of Alexis Sanchez using Stats Zone - and explains why the Gunners need to pay the Chilean whatever he wants to stay at the Emirates…

Forget the January transfer window Arsene, reach down deep into your cavernous pockets and pay Alexis Sanchez what he wants, otherwise you’ll regret it. Yes, he’s asking for a preposterous amount of money, but that’s modern football. Get on board or get left behind. 

Fighting against the mega-money world of modern football is a noble act, but sadly you’re on your own amongst the game’s superpowers. Money is no object for Arsenal’s competitors and they will happily pay £290,000 for the high-energy, all-action talents of your Chilean number seven. If you can’t beat them, join them.

Fighting against the mega-money world of modern football is a noble act, Arsene, but sadly you’re on your own amongst the game’s superpowers

Sanchez underlined his importance to Arsenal with another full throttle display against Crystal Palace on Sunday. He'll likely do it again tonight against Bournemouth.

Master of ceremonies

He may not have hit the back of the net at the Emirates on Sunday, but he was the force of nature driving wave after wave of attacks. It was his cross that Olivier Giroud converted with an outrageous scorpion kick. 

Every time he picked up the ball he drove forward with guile and purpose. Everything was done at 100mph, without any loss of control. 

He hurried and harassed from the front, tracked back to help the defence. He demanded the ball and linked the play – receiving 18 passes from Nacho Monreal – the most prolific combination across the 90 minutes. Granit Xhaka picked him out 17 times. Sanchez is always open, always eager to take responsibility. He has the courage and ability to make something happen.

Sanchez created five goalscoring chances in the game, equalled only by Alexi Iwobi – Arsenal’s other goalscorer during the 2-0 win at The Emirates.

The Chile international attempted 34 passes in the attacking third, with 23 finding their target. The tireless 28-year-old also delivered the most crosses (3), had the most shots (8) and completed more successful dribbles (4) than any other Arsenal player. 

Sanchez might not be your archetypal chest-thumping captain, but he’s a leader. Playing with passion, determination and an insatiable thirst for victory, he sets the tone for the rest of the team. He says, “Follow me lads, let me show you how it’s done. Let me show you what’s expected when you pull on this shirt.”  

Leadership test

When standards drop he lets his team-mates know. When Aaron Ramsey misplaced a pass in a dangerous position on Sunday, Sanchez gesticulated wildly – expressing his frustration.

In a team that lacks obvious leaders, Sanchez is a commander-in-chief on the Premier League battlefield.

In the lead up to Sunday’s game, Sanchez made it clear he wanted to stay at the club for the foreseeable future. "I feel really happy and comfortable at the club,” he told the Arsenal official website. 

It's time to get your wallet out, Arsene

"I definitely feel like an important player and my team-mates let me know every day. 

"I try to prove that I am an important player every day and game after game. I believe we have the players and the quality to win many things. 

"I want to give the fans a new title. We always get our fans’ support in the thin and the thick, which is great. We must win the Premier League or the Champions League for them."

Staying?

Arsenal have been here before and failed to act, resulting in the departures of Patrick Vieira, Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor

In an interview with Sky Sports, he put the ball in the club’s court. “It doesn’t really depend on me so much as it does the club, if they want to show confidence in me,” he said.

“I’m very happy here, I love it here, I love all the staff, the cooks, the employees that do so much for us.

“I’m very grateful to everybody, and as I say I’m very happy here. So it depends on Arsenal.”

Arsenal have been here before and failed to act, resulting in the departures of Patrick Vieira, Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor. As the competition in the Premier League increases they can’t afford to let this happen again.

Contract negotiations

Is Sanchez more important than Mesut Ozil, another star performer in contact negotiations with the club? They’re different players. Ozil is a master technician, armed with superhuman vision and a deft touch, but when you’re in the trenches he isn’t the sort of player you would turn to. Sanchez is the sort of player to grab you by the scruff of the neck and drag you over the top with him.

What’s the alternative to not committing both players to long-term deals and letting them leave? 

Finding a replacement isn’t easy. Wenger’s famous scouting network had the edge when he arrived the club more than 20 years ago. He had the ability to pluck hidden gems from obscurity and turn them into match-winning superstars. 

Unfortunately the game has caught up and everybody has a scout embedded in the every corner of the earth. Heck, even some 14-year-old Herbert from Winnersh knows about the Armenia wonderkid playing in the Armenian Premier League thanks to Football/Championship Manager

Arsene, stop wasting time. Get Sanchez tied down before he gets a whiff of that Chinese Super League money. 

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