The current form of summer signing Alexis Sanchez is starting to become a bit of a concern, with the Chilean failing to replicate the form he showed at the start of the season.
The £35m man has scored just once in his last 11 games, which is in stark contrast to the free-scoring form he showed before Christmas. The amount of effort he puts in often masks his poor performances, but he is certainly a shadow of the player he was just a few months ago.
His display against Monaco was particularly poor, yet it was Mesut Özil who bore the brunt of the criticism from pundits and fans.
The German World Cup winner had a solid game by all accounts, and was heavily involved with everything good about Tuesday night’s Arsenal side.
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Sanchez on the other hand, failed to have much of an impact on the game at all. And as these stats show, he was largely ineffective against the Ligue 1 side.
Alexis Sanchez's game by numbers vs. Monaco: 0 goals 0 assists 0 shots on target 0 chances created 74% pass accuracy pic.twitter.com/w5yqubG6zm
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 17, 2015
The 26-year-old not only failed to create anything (either for himself or his teammates), but he was also dispossessed a massive 19 times. His style has always been in the high-risk high-reward mould, and taking on players in dangerous areas always has the potential to blow up in your face.
When he is scoring and assisting with regularity you don’t mind that he loses the ball occasionally, but not only have the goals dried up, his tired legs mean he is losing the ball more often as well.
You can see he is tired when he plays, and despite his willingness to give 110% every single game, he has looked dead on his feet at times.
There is no question he needs a rest, regardless of whether he wants to be given one or not.
We have a few options to replace him, so there is no need for us to run him into the ground. He should really be given a full week off if possible, but even if we can’t afford to rest him for some reason, we should at least substitute him early on.
The former Barcelona star could prove vital to our success in the tail end of the season, so we need to make sure he is rested and back to his best for our final few games.