At the beginning of the season, Arsene Wenger switched #Alexis Sanchez to a central role as Olivier Giroud, who made it to the final of the UEFA European Championship with France, was given an extended break. After a slow start to his new position, Sanchez hugely impressed as a central forward and has now scored 22 goals in all competitions for the Gunners. His teammates also benefitted from the Chilean's position change as both Theo Walcott and Mesut Özil have already scored more goals than in their previous season.
With Sanchez's electrifying pace, superb technical skill, and the ability to create goalscoring opportunities for his teammates, #Arsenal seemed to have finally found a world-class striker, after missing out on the likes of Luis Suarez and Karim Benzema in recent years. Wenger, however, has now revealed that Sanchez prefers to play on the wing.
Sanchez prefers to play out wide, says Wenger
In Friday's press conference, Wenger explained that Sanchez prefers to play as a winger because he likes to get involved in Arsenal's buildup play. While Wenger admitted that the former Barcelona man "has the focus needed to score" in a more central role, the Frenchman also acknowledged that Sanchez is the type of player "who likes to touch the ball a lot."
"He prefers to play wide than up front. He can get more of the ball. He has to keep the balance between providing and goalscoring," said Wenger. With Sanchez back on the left wing, Danny Welbeck has become Wenger's preferred choice in the central forward role in recent games.
Welbeck, who missed out on a majority of the season due to a long-term injury, has, however, failed to have any real impact on the team and only managed to score 1 goal for the Gunners in the #Premier League so far. Giroud, on the other hand, has been highly effective as a super substitute with 9 goals to his name. Furthermore, the French international has the best goals per minute ratio in the league, but he's been often criticised for slowing down the Gunners. Regardless, most Arsenal fans will probably agree that Sanchez has been their standout striker this season.
Arsenal have reportedly offered Sanchez a £300,000-a-week deal
Sanchez, whose contract expires at the end of next season, has not signed a contract extension with the Gunners yet. It is understood that the 28-year-old has grown frustrated at the Emirates and is looking for a move to another club.
He has previously stated he would prefer to remain in London and play for "a winning team." Subsequently, numerous newspapers have linked the Chilean with a move to Chelsea, but Manchester City are also believed to be keen. In an effort to hold on to their star player, Arsenal have now reportedly offered Sanchez a deal worth £300,000-a-week. Wenger, however, has refused to confirm these reports and said: "I understand as well that top players is a big priority but, at the end of the day, even for more important players you can only pay as much as you can afford."