Should City splash the cash for Sanchez?
By Michael Cage, Tue 18 July 2017 17:31
The future of Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez is the Premier League’s biggest transfer saga. Man City hope to land the Chile ace before the new 2017-18 season and here’s why there’s such a scramble for his signing…
If Manchester City make a bold summer move for Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez, which could cost a club record £70 million, the striker will follow in the footsteps of some illustrious players. Emmanuel Adebayor, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Kolo Toure have switched from The Emirates to The Etihad in recent seasons. Apart from Sagna and Adebayor, they all went on to win the Premier League title wearing City blue and the lure of that prize could be the deciding factor in Sanchez’s future. Throw in the chance to play in the Champions League this season and hook up with his former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, why wouldn’t Sanchez jump ship just like those former Gunners?
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger remains confident of keeping Sanchez in north London come September, even though the Chile forward has just one season left on his deal and doesn’t look keen to pen a new contract. A study of Sanchez’s Premier League stats reveals why The Gunners have apparently offered new terms of over £200,000 a week and why the likes of City and Chelsea would be overjoyed to have the 28-year-old in their team. In just 103 league games since coming to England in 2014, Sanchez has bagged 53 goals and 22 assists. In 2016-17 he hit the net 24 times, scoring 30 in all competitions and clocking an impressive 17 assists along the way. Further highlights were his stunning hat-trick in just 15 minutes against West Ham, a cheeky winning penalty against Burnley and scoring after just 229 seconds in the FA Cup final victory over Chelsea. All this after helping his country defend the 2016 Copa America trophy against Lionel Messi’s Argentina. His numbers are amazing and prove why he’s rightly heralded as one of the world’s standout strikers right now. With the potential of Sanchez in their team alongside other new stars like Bernardo Silva and Ederson Moraes, it’s no surprise sites like 888sport are backing City for their first title since 2014.
With Sergio Aguero’s relationship with Guardiola under strain at City, it’s no surprise that a new goal king is being lined up at The Emirates. Aguero’s Premier League return is among the very best, notching 122 goals in only 181 games, but the signs are that the manager would rather cash in on the Argentine and have the hard-working, team-centric figure of Sanchez leading his attack instead.
Sanchez is well schooled in the methods of Guardiola. The pair worked together at Barca between 2011 and 2012, winning the Super Cup, Club World Cup and the Copa del Ray. Sanchez has since matured from his Barca days as a tricky winger-cum-striker to a proven goal ace who never shirks his defensive responsibilities. Perhaps the only negative for City if he did move north would be the likely departure of Aguero, as playing the two lively South Americans together could be a problem. Sanchez’s passion and dedication would surely rub off on City’s prodigious 20-year-old Gabriel Jesus and see the Brazilian forward flourish.
City have dropped out of the Premier League title race far too soon in recent years. In 2017 they finished 15 points behind champions Chelsea and had to scrap Liverpool and Arsenal all the way just for a Champions League spot. The stylish Sanchez could be the ideal signing to change all that. His commitment to win the league for the first time would be there to see for City fans every time he pulled on the shirt. If City can beat teams like Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Juventus for Sanchez’s signature this summer, the Etihad’s trophy cabinet could well be seeing some shiny new silverware in 2018.