The Arsenal manager says the Chilean’s move to the right wing has profited the player.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has suggested, as quoted by the London Evening Standard, that the move to play Alexis Sanchez on the right wing is the main reason for the player’s return to goalscoring form in recent weeks.
After scoring 12 goals in all competitions in the first half of the season, Sanchez has endured a less prolific last few months in front of goal, netting just once between the end of January and the start of April after missing nearly two months with a torn hamstring in the winter.
However, he appears to have rediscovered his touch in recent weeks, finding the net in the 1-1 home draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday after also getting on the scoresheet against Watford and West Ham United in the previous two matches.
Those exploits have come following his switch from playing on the left flank to playing on the right, and it is that positional change which Wenger believes has paid dividend for the 27-year-old.
Wenger said, as quoted by the London Evening Standard: “It was good to see Alexis Sanchez scoring again. Most of the time it’s with the efficiency of his performances that you know that he is back to his best. He’s a striker who can have an impact on the game and since he’s come back on the right side, I think he has been more efficient.
“It is more natural for him than on the left. His game is a bit more predictable on the left, on the right he is unpredictable because he can go outside and inside. On the left he looks to always come inside and that’s easier to block. On the other hand, he is physically sharper and stronger, and that is very important when you are a striker.
“Before he got injured he looked a bit tired and less reactive. Part of his game is very instinctive and based on dribbling. That has to be instinctive and for that you need a freshness and sharpness. It is true that just before the injury, he looked a bit on the edge.”
Sanchez enjoyed a prolific debut season in England last campaign following his £35 million move from Barcelona, scoring 25 goals in 52 appearances in all competitions and generally being at the forefront of all that was good about the Arsenal attack.
However, he has been dogged by fitness issue for portions of this season, and his return of 14 goals in 32 matches is indicative of his struggles to replicate the impressive form he displayed last term.
After, scoring in his last three games, however, Gunners fans will hope their star forward is finally fit and firing on all cylinders once more as they look to secure a Champions League spot in the last few weeks of the season.