How does Arsenal 'target' Alexis Sanchez compare to Podolski?

Alexis Sanchez Chile

Arsenal are linked with Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez but how does the Chilean compare to Lukas Podolski?

The 25-year-old Chile international has been in fine form at the World Cup in Brazil but is widely expected to be moved on from the Camp Nou this summer.

This is despite recording his best tally to date at Barcelona with 19 goals and 10 assists in La Liga, a disappointing season for the Catalans could see him depart.

He has been linked with Liverpool and Manchester United in recent weeks and months with reports suggesting this week Arsenal have made an enquiry as to his potential availability with The Telegraph suggesting an offer of £25 million could secure the signing for one of the Premier League giants.

Meanwhile, at the Emirates, Germany forward Lukas Podolski has struggled to cement his place in the team and if Sanchez should sign, one would suspect the 29-year-old would either find it difficult to get in the team at all or, more likely, be sold on.

Podolski scored 8 goals and made 2 assists for the North Londoners but was granted just 14 starts in the Premier League this term and played a full 90 minutes on just five occasions. Both Podolski and Sanchez can function as wingers on either flank or as inside forwards coming inside to dangerous effect.

Sanchez averaged 1.9 shots per game in La Liga to Podolski’s 2.1 shots per game in the Premier League. Whilst Sanchez scored the greater number of goals across a substantially higher 27 starts and 7 appearances from the bench for the Catalans, Podolski actually averages a better goals to game ratio overall of a goal every 132 minutes to Sanchez’ goal every 162 minutes in all competitions this term.

In terms of efficiency in front of goal Podolski achieved a slightly higher shot accuracy level with 61% of his shots hitting the target to Sanchez’s 59% for Barcelona and Podolski was also more accurate with his passing, achieving a pass completion rate of 89% to Sanchez’ 80%.

The German international also won 49% of his aerial duels to Sanchez’ 43% in an arguably less direct and physical league.

However, in terms of creativity, Sanchez was far more effective, creating a total of 47 chances for his team compared to Podolski’s far inferior 8 for Arsenal last term.

If it came down to it, would the Gunners be prepared to lose (or at the very least further frustrate) Podolski in order to sign a talent like Sanchez?

Given the fact that Arsene Wenger has not used the German as often as he would like, the French coach may be open to letting him go if the right offer was on the table and the prospect of Alexis Sanchez may be too tempting to resist for the Gunners.

Ultimately, in terms of efficiency Lukas Podolski is hard to beat, but in terms of consistency and creativity, Alexis Sanchez is the more threatening of the pair.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch