Arsene Wenger has explained why he decided to move Alexis Sanchez up front this season. The Chile international has been a hit in a central role, scoring five times already this season to leave the Gunners third in the table just two points off top spot.
Sunday’s win over Burnley at Turf Moor means Arsenal have now won five games in a row with Sanchez key to the team’s resurgence after a slow start.
The Chilean’s move up front has left Olivier Giroud on the bench and Wenger, in an interview with Thierry Henry for Sky Sports, has explained why he opted to make the decision.
“First of all I had big competition up front. I thought Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud would play there,” he said via the Daily Mail.
“I reflected at the end of the season and I decided to try it with Sanchez. He has similarities with [Luis] Suarez. He goes at you.
“Remember at the start many people questioned the decision. The few times I had tried him there before he was not convincing. In the first two games I was not convinced but now game after game he is growing into this position and getting better and better.”
Having celebrated 20 years in charge at Arsenal over the weekend Wenger also explained why he had opted to change formations during his time in north London.
“The game has always been the same. I adapted to the personality of the players I had. We played 4-4-2 with Dennis Bergkamp, who was a striker but when he played with you it became a little bit of a 4-2-3-1,” he added.
“Mainly I changed because in the Champions League I felt we lost the midfield sometimes and suffered a lot. It depends a lot on the individual quality of the striker, who can create something on his own.
“I felt we could play with one more player in midfield and still be dangerous. As well, at the time we had players like Freddie Ljungberg, who could make runs from deep so on occasions it was like playing with two or three strikers.”
Sanchez’s move to a central role has prompted much debate among supporters. However, the Chilean has impressed up front and the team’s current five-game winning run simply cannot be argued with.