Arsene Wenger has explained how he feels Alexis Sanchez has improved since joining the club from Barcelona, and particularly since having moved to a centre-forward role this season.
The Chile international has thrived in a more central role and is the club’s top scorer this season with 10 goals in 18 appearances, including a double in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth.
Speaking after Sunday’s win Theo Walcott claimed Sanchez has made the role his own and Wenger has explained just how Sanchez has improved his game while at the Emirates.
“I think Alexis adds to his game a desire to fight for the team and as well, he’s a winner, he wants to win the game and he does what it takes to win the game,” he told the official Arsenal website.
“I believe on a tactical front he has improved much more, he works much more for the team and when it’s needed during games, he works very hard for the team.
“I think he has improved a lot on [running effectively]. He’s more conscious of his responsibilities and he is an intelligent player. He understands what he has to do and I believe he’s more willing to help the team.”
Sanchez’s form has put an end to debate about where he should play for Arsenal but Wenger is in no doubt that he has all the qualities needed to be a success as the club’s main striker.
“He has the instinct of a real striker,” he added. “He wants to hit you, he wants to go at you. When he gets the ball, he runs forward and he runs at any defender. He shows, maybe sometimes to excess, that dribbling quality is an important quality for a striker.
“It’s his game and you do not want to take that out of his game. His dribbling is provocative, it’s not retention, it’s provocative, to create damage.”
Sanchez has undoubtedly proven a huge hit up front this season, and while he is still accused of dropping too deep at times, Wenger’s comments and the Chilean’s 10 goals suggest he is set to continue in that role.