Copa America Gives Alexis Sanchez Another Audition at Striker


With the kick off of the Copa America on Thursday, Chile and Ecuador met in a showdown that had given each side three wins in the past. With the whole crew ready to bring pride to their nation, Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez was probably the most excited of them all, as any time he can get his foot to a ball, he is like a kid in a candy shop.

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Alexis was given his national team role at striker, a position that he rarely saw at Arsenal, and the results were magnificent. The Chilean mastermind looked the strongest he has looked since the 2014 half of the Premier League season. The ball looked like a mere extension of his foot and the Ecuadorians had no hope of filching the ball away. His probing passes were brilliant and it was quite clear that Alexis Sanchez is one of the best players in the world.

Seeing him perform so soundly at striker got me to thinking. Could he ever make it as a striker at Arsenal?

Arsenal gave him five starts at striker on the year and based on‘s player ratings, he scored his lowest average at the position (7.21) which is a massive downgrade from the rating he put up in the Copa America (8.54). He also never scored from the striker spot for Arsenal.

It has been pretty well established that Alexis Sanchez will be utilized on the left flank for Arsenal, but as it goes with just about every attacking Gunner, he has the creative license to drift to the center. It served Arsenal well all year, particularly in the first half of the season and it would make sense that he would remain there.

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But is it possible that Arsenal are missing out on all of Alexis Sanchez’s best features by not giving him time at the No. 9 role? Theo Walcott seemed rejuvenated when he finally got to play down the center after years of right-wing duties, so maybe the same could happen for Alexis.

While Arsenal are not in dire need of a striker, I do think it begs to be considered what the Chilean can do after a summer playing the striker role for his nation. It may be in Arsenal’s best interests to let him continue his streak at the position and watch the magic unfold.

Of course, the argument can always be made that Ecuador is a bit different than say… Chelsea, but these are all professional footballers and Alexis made Ecuador look pretty pedestrian as a striker. I sure would like to see that in the Premier League next year.

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