Few can deny that Alexis Sanchez hasn’t looked himself this season, and the stats prove that our top scorer from last season certainly isn’t at his best. He’s been dispossessed more times than any other player in the Premier League this season, and is in the top five for unsuccessful touches, as reported by The Evening Standard.
Anybody who watched the Chilean play last season knows there’s something seriously wrong there, as he’s known for his quick feet and fantastic first touch. How many times have we seen him pluck the ball skilfully out of the air before taking on the opposition?
These stats obviously don’t tell the full story, as Alexis’ style of play has a huge impact on the numbers. He attempts far more take ons than your average player, so it’s understandable that many of them won’t come off. His successful take on percentages don’t differ hugely from the other top dribblers in the league this season, as can be seen in the statistics below (courtesy of Squawka):
He’s made a huge number of successful take ons this season, and his completion percentage is second only to Riyad Mahrez – who we all know has been enjoying a fantastic season with Leicester. It’s clear that the stats are a little misleading, but there are still question marks over Alexis’ fitness.
While the stats don’t tell you everything, anyone who has watched the 26-year-old this season knows he’s looked a little jaded. He can regularly be seen losing possession in dangerous areas, and he just hasn’t looked as sharp in general.
Hopefully he really is just tired, and a short break will do him some good. We really can’t afford to be without one of our best players heading into the second half of the season, and if we really are burning him out then we run a real risk of being in that position.
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Arsene Wenger is reportedly set to hand him a mid-season break (via the Mirror), so fingers crossed that’s enough to get him back to his best.