Alexis Sanchez a sweet shout for PL top scorer as striker transformation keeps Arsenal in title race
Holly Thackeray | 12 December 2016
Alexis Sanchez PL top scorer odds a shout
Arsenal’s Chilean superstar Alexis Sanchez propelled himself to level on 11 goals with Chelsea striker Diego Costa, as the race to be Premier League top scorer intensified in the first matchweek of December, with the season’s midway mark drawing closer.
Super Sanchez followed up his game changing brace at Bournemouth by going one better to hit a heroic hat-trick away to London foes West Ham United, as the Gunners ran out triumphant 5-1 victors. So, Sanchez is now an enticing 11/2 price to be PL top scorer, which could be worth snapping up now as his fine form is showing no signs of subsiding.
Sanchez’s deadly trio of strikes on Saturday perfectly summed up what the fluid forward is all about as he turned on a dime to drive quickly into the Hammers box before dispatching low and left, before his second strike came from just on the edge of the area, while a lovely lofted dink over Darren Randolph finished the scoring off in style.
If you missed it, see Sanchez fire in three below:
Suddenly springing to action has been the Chile international’s hallmark of late but he’s really been hitting new heights since Arsene Wenger firmly made the 27-year-old the star man by consistently allowing him to lead the line.
Pundits have been quibbling over whether Sanchez’s sensational displays can see him counted as world class, but all Arsenal fans will care about is that he keeps putting the ball in the back of the net.
Olivier Giroud has been the man sacrificed on most occasions, with Sanchez’s flexibility and skill preferred to add a different dimension to the static France frontman. Dribbling, step-overs, creativity, lightning pace – the Chile sensation is looking like the complete package.
And if reported contract wranglings are true, Sanchez has certainly put himself in a position of strength, as Wenger noted: “The leading strikers in world football at the moment are South American. He has all the ingredients to be a top class striker and he showed that again.”
Even the West Ham ball boys were charmed, as you can see in this video that went viral:
West Ham ball boy mesmerised by Alexis Sanchez pic.twitter.com/gAFYJe6TLE
— Ross William Gibson (@RossGibson1992) December 3, 2016
Wenger deserves credit for positional switch
The switch to a central attacking position up top, rather than a roaming midfielder, support striker or winger, seems to suit Sanchez to a tee.
And Wenger can rightly take credit for that, as the coach stated: “I think he likes the position. When it comes off and he walks off with the ball under his arm it’s a good feeling and I hope there is more to come.”
All of Sanchez’s 11 league goals and five assists this season have come as a ‘false’ centre forward of sorts, with his one PL outing on the left wing yielding nothing.
While neither of his two Champions League strikes and only one of four assists came from the right flank.
Sanchez playing up front is hardly a revelation however, as the South American played there at times during his spell with Italian team Udinese when just a young-gun as well as on a few occasions for Barcelona and even a handful of times before now for Arsenal.
This transition to leading man appears to have come at the right time in Sanchez’s career however and, speaking of Barca, he would now not look out of place among the famed trio of fellow South Americans Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Sanchez has edge over rivals
So what’s to recommend Sanchez for the Golden Boot over his rivals? Well, first the question is who to compare him to. Eden Hazard has been hitting the target more efficiently for Chelsea this term, but will never likely work further up field and get as many goals as he lacks the strength of Sanchez as well as the regular ruthlessness.
While, current closest competitor Diego Costa, also of the Blues, is more of a natural poacher but also much more of a risk for getting himself banned. And, at present, he stands on the same number of goals but boasts quite a few more minutes played.
Sergio Aguero is much more of an all-rounder and is just one goal behind on 10 for Manchester City. His class cannot be questioned, but injury doubts remain, as do concerns over how highly he is valued by Pep Guardiola. All of which makes Sanchez sensational at 11/2 to be crowned top scorer.
Can Sanchez now fire Arsenal on to the title
Often the PL Golden Boot winner is on the side of the Premier League champions, or at least a challenger and Sanchez’s strikes over winter have come at a crucial point during which the Gunners usually famously come undone.
Festive fixtures in the league (Stoke City, Everton, Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace) are all teams, bar the Toffees, that Sanchez has scored past before, which bodes well for the Londoners over Christmas and New Year.
So, odds for Arsenal to take the title, after Sanchez helped keep them within four points of top spot, also look tasty.