opinions | 2017-05-09
Three potential replacements for Alexis Sanchez at Arsenal
Speculating where Wenger will look for replacements for the ex-Barça player
It is looking like being a roller coaster month for Arsenal and their supporters, with plenty still to play for in both the Premier League and domestic cup competitions throughout May.
Despite the Gunners’ disappointing league form, they still have a chance of making the top four and guaranteeing a spot at the Champions League, although their chances are looking slim with time not on Arsene Wenger’s side. Arsenal also have a chance of adding some silverware to their much-decorated trophy cabinet, when they face Chelsea in the FA cup final on May 27th.
One player who has again impressed at the Emirates Stadium has been Alexis Sanchez, who has scored 24 goals across all competitions and added 12 assists. Sanchez was also the player who scored the decisive goal in the FA cup semi-final victory over Manchester City last month to set up the Wembley showdown with Chelsea.
Sanchez’s future with Arsenal is in doubt, with a new contract not yet agreed with the Chilean, whose current deal runs out at the end of the 2017/18 campaign. With the 28-year-old potentially on the move in the coming months, here is a look at three players who could replace him.
Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace
Across London, Zaha has been in exceptional form for Crystal Palace, particularly since Sam Allardyce’s appointment as manager.
The former Manchester United winger has scored six goals and added nine assists across the campaign, making him one of the Premier League’s hottest properties for the upcoming transfer window.
North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur are also said to be interested in luring the 24-year old away from Selhurst Park during the summer.
James Rodriguez – Real Madrid
Although Rodriguez has a differing style to Sanchez, he would be an apt replacement for the Chilean, should he decide to call time on his Arsenal career.
Rodriguez has found opportunities limited with Real Madrid this season, making just 12 starts in La Liga. However, Zinedine Zidane’s side are still 2/7 favourites to win the title in the La Liga betting, even without the Colombian international featuring much.
The 25-year-old has still scored 11 goals across all competitions and added a further eight assists for Madrid.
Willian – Chelsea
Securing the signature of the Chelsea man may seem an ambitious target, but the Brazilian has not featured as much as he may have liked at Stamford Bridge this season, with Antonio Conte targeting the Premier League title.
In Chelsea’s favoured 3-4-3 formation, Pedro and Eden Hazard have featured either side of Diego Costa in attack, with Willian used as more of an impact player by Conte.
It is highly unlikely that Willian would be able to replace Sanchez’s goals at Arsenal, but he is a proven player in the Premier League and looks set to add a second winner's medal to his collection during the coming month.
Whether Conte will consider offloading Willian this summer remains to be seen, but the 28-year-old has featured on just 13 occasions from the start in the Premier League this season, with his Italian manager preferring other options.
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