While Arsenal fans hadn’t started doubting Alexis Sanchez, the Chilean’s first hat-trick for the club couldn’t have come at a better time.
Without a goal to his name yet this season, Sanchez opened his account for the campaign with a sizeable deposit, hitting three goals in Arsenal’s impressive 5-2 victory over Leicester City, and then followed that up with a brace against Manchester United. Currently on five league goals for the season, Sanchez has seen his odds of finishing as the league’s top scorer shorten to 10/1 with some bookmakers when this article was produced.
Having made an electric start to life in London following his switch to the Gunners from Barcelona last summer, Sanchez’s goalscoring slipped off somewhat during the second half of last season, and the striker had gone eight games without scoring before his hat-trick against Leicester. Despite failing to continue his early season form in front of goal throughout the entire campaign, the forward still managed to finish his first year in English football with 25 goals to his name, helping the club win the FA Cup for a second successive season.
Now back among the goals, Arsenal fans will be hoping Sanchez can play a major role in the club challenging for this season’s Premier League title. While Manchester City might still be many punters’ favourites this season, currently 10/11 with betfair and other major bookmakers, Arsenal are very much in this year’s title race and Sanchez rediscovering his scoring boots certainly strengthens their case.
by Ronnie Macdonald
While Sanchez isn’t Arsenal’s only goalscoring threat, the fact is that, when he is in form, Arsenal are a much more dangerous team than when the Chile international is firing on all cylinders. Olivier Giroud has certainly done well over the past three seasons, starting this campaign in solid form with three goals from his opening seven league appearances, and Theo Walcott continues to stake his claim for a role up front, scoring the opening goal against Leicester. But it’s Sanchez who could hold the key this year.
As well as his goalscoring, Sanchez also has a big role to play in terms of assists, setting up his team-mates on 12 occasions last season and proving just how important he is to Arsenal from an offensive point of view. If he can get close to 20 goals and 10 assists again – with the likes of Giroud and Walcott weighing in with 10-plus goals apiece, there is no doubt that Arsenal could well push the likes of City much harder than they have managed over the past few seasons – possibly even all the way through to May.
Priced at 4/11 for a top-two finish in the league, Arsenal fans might not be satisfied with that this year, especially with Sanchez in this sort of form.