How Does Alexis Sanchez Stand up Against His PFA Award Competitors?

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Sep 6, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Chile forward Alexis Sanchez (7) controls the ball ahead of Mexico midfielder Jose Juan Vazquez (15) during the first half at Levi

Every year, the athletes of the Barclay’s Premier League are allowed to stretch their democratic muscles and vote on who they think the best player among them was for that year.

This year, there are several front running candidates for PFA player of the year: Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, David De Gea, Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane to name a few. But the one Arsenal player that’s made the list deserves to win it far more than anyone else on that list – Alexis Sanchez.

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No argument that can be made for any player on that list can’t be made for Alexis Sanchez (except De Gea, Sanchez is lacking in solid goalkeeping outings this year). He made just as sudden of an impact as Diego Costa, he’s put up better overall numbers than Eden Hazard, he’s been a better all-around player than Aguero and Kane. Alexis single-handedly carried Arsenal in the early stages of the season when they were struggling to find their feet. No other player can boast a more direct, solo effort than Alexis. Chelsea is a well-rounded team and has been all year, same with Manchester City up until lately and Harry Kane hasn’t taken Tottenham to the heights that Alexis has taken Arsenal.

The only real argument against Alexis is that his goals have dried up lately. That’s a rather pale argument seeing as how he delivered Arsenal to the promised land they’re in now, and now the team is doing so well that he doesn’t have to put up the same torrid numbers that he did earlier in the season (including a stretch of 14 goals in 18 appearances).

Alexis has done more for a team that’s needed him more than any player on that list can say (and we’ll go more in-depth later). Even with Arsenal currently firing on all cylinders and boasting the hottest club in the Premier League, Alexis is still maintaining his relevancy. It’s not like he carried Arsenal until they were healthy and then faded into obscurity. He’s now settling into a much more team-oriented role where he can work with Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud.

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He was seen rampaging against Liverpool last week when he put up a splendid goal and another assist in an absolute route of a pretty decent team. He was yet again a cog in a machine that is looking unstoppable, as he’s been all year.

Arsenal’s recent success should boost Alexis Sanchez’s odds of bringing home the PFA award immensely. Whereas we’re seeing Aguero’s City and Kane’s Tottenham tank out at the end of the year, and even Costa’s and Hazard’s Chelsea sputter a smidge, Arsenal are stronger than ever. David De Gea can boast that he’s kept United relevant while they’ve (and still are) struggling to find a bit of dominance.

But Arsenal have defied the odds and taken second place, where they are in striking distance of a once-deemed-impossible title. The entire first half of the season can all come down to Alexis Sanchez. Without him, Arsenal would have disappeared long ago, but he kept them afloat and took them to where they are now.

Arsenal man Ian Wright chose Alexis over Hazard (biased? via HITC Sports) and Antonio Di Natale has pointed out that he’d choose Alexis over Neymar (via DailyMail), so there’s two important voices advocating for Alexis (for what it’s worth).

Eden Hazard and David De Gea are the main competition, but let’s take an in-depth look at how he shakes up against all the front runners in the next couple slides.

Next: Harry Kane