Arsenal have been a joy to watch in recent weeks, with Alexis Sanchez at the heart of everything good about the team’s attacking threat in the final third. Some would argue that the Chilean star is more effective playing out wide, but he has more than proved his quality through the centre with a bundle of goals to go with some excellent performances.
His presence as a false nine gives the team an entirely different dimension to the one provided by Olivier Giroud, with Alexis proving a better fit within Arsenal’s slick passing game as a more skilful and quick-thinking striker to play on the shoulders of defenders and give them a torrid time with his pace. It may prove to be a way of thinking for Arsene Wenger, even if he had little choice to play Alexis through the middle with Olivier Giroud and Lucas Perez out injured. Four goals in five games is proof of his return to form, and although Betway have lowered Alexis’ odds on finishing the season as the Premier League top goalscorer, it is just good to see him back firing on all cylinders.
He would be the first to admit that he struggled to impose himself on games last season, particularly after he set the bar extremely high during his first year at the Emirates. Despite scoring thirteen league goals, Alexis went through the motions as the team never found the consistency and form to challenge for the title, but it appears that a strong Copa America campaign with eventual winners Chile has reignited the fire in his belly. The striker is showing real signs of returning to his best, with Alexis looking extremely dangerous in and around the box; he would have added to his goals tally in the recent game at Burnley if it were not for Tom Heaton or the woodwork. The same could be said of Theo Walcott who looks a completely different player this season, but while it may be a mere purple patch, Alexis has the quality to play like he has been throughout the campaign. His superb chip against Chelsea illustrated a player who has regained his confidence in front of goal, but it is his all-round performances that are not only catching the eye, but also proving extremely prominent in Arsenal’s run of five straight wins and nine unbeaten in all competitions.
Fans will hope that Alexis returns back from international duty injury-free and raring to go, with the 27-year-old set to lead the line against Peru in a South American World Cup Qualifying clash. Wenger could ill-afford a setback for a player that has started the season on fire for Arsenal, particularly as some would argue that Alexis is a confidence player that needs a strong run of form in order to get the best from him. He will certainly fancy his chances of continuing his fine run of form in Arsenal’s upcoming games in the Premier League and Champions League, with a double header against Ludogorets placed between winnable fixtures against Swansea, Middlesbrough and Sunderland. It may be the best time to check today’s betting odds at Betway.com to see if there is value in backing the Gunners to win all five games, and if Alexis continues to perform like he has done in recent weeks, then Arsenal should fancy their chances of prolonging their strong run of form.
Alexis has proven that he is a big-game player, and although he failed to hit the heights last season, fans know that Arsenal have a genuine world class player upfront. What he may lack in height to play as a genuine number nine, he more than makes up for in speed, acceleration and a clinical finishing ability to take chances with an air of ruthlessness. His superb form has kept Giroud out of the picture, and although the Frenchman still has a big part to play this season, he may have to watch on from the sidelines if Alexis continues his superb run of form in an Arsenal shirt.