Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez scored 19 goals and made 10 assists across 27 starts and 34 appearances in total for Barcelona in La Liga last season whilst Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain scored 17 goals and made 7 assists in 28 starts and 32 appearances in total for Napoli in Serie A, the team he signed for instead of going to Arsenal.
Higuain averaged 2.8 shots per game on average to Sanchez’ 1.9 shots for Barcelona last term, and completed slightly higher 1.2 dribbles per game to Sanchez’ 1.1 on average.
Higuain also achieved a higher completion rate than the Chilean of 80.4% to Sanchez’ 79.7% but Sanchez completed more key passes per game by some distance, 1.4 per game to Higuain’s 0.8.
Sanchez was dispossessed less often than the Napoli striker, 1.3 times per game to Higuain’s 1.5 times per game and Sanchez was awarded more free kicks for Barcelona winning a foul 1.6 times per game on average to Higuain’s 0.7 per game.
In terms of efficiency in front of goal, Sanchez was on target with 59% of his shots yet Higuain was on target with 55% of his shots. Sanchez scored more goals and contributed more assists for his team and, at 25 years of age, one year Higuain’s junior, he is the more dangerous and efficient in front of goal.
Not only is the current Arsenal target more threatening in the box, he offers much more in terms of creativity than the Gunners’ target from last summer. Whilst Higuain achieved an impressive tally of goals and assists, he is less comfortable on the ball than Sanchez and less capable of bringing his teammates into play with his passing and vision.
Overall, Arsenal may well have been disappointed to miss out on signing Gonzalo Higuain but now, less than 12 months later, the Gunners could be much better off if they complete the Sanchez deal as he brings more to the team in terms of goals, creativity, dynamism, energy and is a year younger and quite likely a few million cheaper if the reported £30 million deal goes through.