A day before Arsenal’s showdown with Leceister City, Arsene Wenger appears to be committed to making Alexis Sanchez Arsenal’s answer to its center forward hole. Wenger compared the Chilean to one-time target Luis Suarez, saying he has “similar qualities” to the Uruguayan.
Wenger stated that he thought Alexis could be a striker, saying that Arsenal would benefit from his using his energy solely in an attacking role, as opposed to being forced to get back and defend the flanks as he is required to do when playing on the wing. He pointed out that Alexis is a very good finisher, which is why it makes sense to keep him more in positions where he can actually score.
We here at The Short Fuse like the idea of Alexis as center forward, as explained here by our own Aidan.
More troublesome, though, were his quotes on Arsenal’s pursuit of a striker in the transfer market. He (rightly) points out the market for strikers is very tough. Then, he lists Olivier Giroud (woo!), Alexis (yay!), Theo Walcott (umm, maybe?), Chuba Akpom (this dropped off pretty quickly), and the currently-injured Yaya Sanogo (what did we do to deserve this?) as players that a new signing must improve upon. Perhaps he should have cut off his list about halfway through.
So, it appears the Gunners are committed to Alexis as No. 9 and that he will start up top tomorrow against the reigning champions. As for a striker in the transfer market, maybe don’t get your hopes up.