Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson believes Alexis Sanchez has been the best signing during the summer transfer window, tipping the winger to ‘cause havoc’ in the Premier League.
Sealing a reported £35 million move from Barcelona last month, Sanchez is coming off a season in which he netted 19 times in 34 league games for the Catalan giants, in what proved his most productive campaign since arriving in Europe to join Udinese in 2008.
Moving to Barca in July 2011 for £25 million, the 25-year-old scored a total of 47 goals in 141 appearances during his time in Spain and, after also seeing him star for Chile at the World Cup, Merson is confident he will prove a huge hit with the Gunners.
‘I would say Sanchez [has been the best signing], and I’m not saying it just because he’s at Arsenal,’ he told Sky Sports News.
‘I just think that he’s come from Barcelona and he’s not old, so to get someone like that, who’s world class and from a top, top team, you’ve got to be someone pretty special.
Making his competitive debut for Arsenal in Sunday’s 3-0 Community Shield win over Manchester City, Merson came away hugely impressed by Sanchez’s performance, despite seeing him play just 45 minutes, and thinks the 71-times capped international could be the difference-maker in the title race.
‘I really do think he could be the one,’ he said. ‘Last week you saw the pockets he got in and his pace, so I think he’ll cause havoc this season.’
Set to make his Premier League bow on Saturday against Crystal Palace, there are high expectations for Sanchez in 2014-15 but, if he can simply repeat the form he demonstrated last season and in Brazil, then he shouldn’t have too many problems fulfilling them.