Ozil's continued absence is good news for one Arsenal player, Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez Arsenal jacket

Mesut Ozil's continued absence from injury allows Alexis Sanchez time to continue in his preferred position.

Mesut Ozil confirmed has confirmed there will be no early return from injury despite his efforts to rehab his knee quickly, and would remain out for another seven weeks.

Despite a couple of newspapers dressing this up as a 'setback' for the German international, it's not - he is five weeks into his original 12 week recovery time, he just won't be ready any quicker.

It is obviously a blow for Arsenal, with their record signing out of action, but for one player it actually is potentially a benefit.

Summer addition Alexis Sanchez has flourished in recent weeks, in part due to a change in position to play him centrally behind Danny Welbeck, a role in which Ozil prefers.

His continued absence while a blow, may actually be good news for Alexis Sanchez who won't be disturbed from his excellent form, while Arsene Wenger will not be pressured into an unwanted decision either.

It isn't just theory either, the statistics show just how much better Alexis Sanchez has become since Mesut Ozil's spell out of the side began.

Alexis Sanchez before Mesut Ozil's injury

  GoalsGoal AssistKey Passes per gamePassing AccuracyWon Tackles per gameInterceptions per gameTouches per gameAppearances
Alexis Sánchez 3 2 1.75 75% 0.88 0.75 63.63 8

Alexis Sanchez after Mesut Ozil's injury

  GoalsGoal AssistKey Passes per gamePassing AccuracyWon Tackles per gameInterceptions per gameTouches per gameAppearances
Alexis Sánchez 7 1 2.67 80% 1.5 0.67 79 6

In Premier League and Champions League competition, Sanchez has been able to step up with seven goals in six games without Ozil, in comparison to three in eight with him.

Part of that can be attributed to a few softer fixtures, and growing acclimatisation to the Premier League, but the figures show a player whose confidence is rising, and enjoys getting on the ball more when played centrally, and is making almost double the number of tackles per game.

It would be nice for the Gunners to have Ozil back, but the consoling factor behind his continued spell on the sidelines is that Sanchez won't be asked to change role and will be given every opportunity to pick up where he left off before the international break.

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