Throughout the summer the speculation around Alexis Sanchez has dominated gossip column inches, and following a £60 million bid on transfer deadline day, everything pointed towards the Chilean departing the Gunners and joining Manchester City.
Arsenal blocked the move, citing a lack of time to find a suitable replacement as the primary reason and while most of the conjecture will be around Sanchez and how he integrates back into his Arsenal squad – where the situation leaves City is an intriguing one.
Prior to Sanchez joining Barcelona in the summer of 2011, then City boss Roberto Mancini had identified the then Udinese man as one of his primary targets, only to get pipped to the post by the Catalans.
With City missing out on their man once more we look at the areas he could have improved the Blues:-
Despite all their attacking prowess, City’s major failure (particularly at home) over the past 2 seasons has been their inability to kill teams off and make the most of their opportunities. Sanchez could have added an entirely different dimension to an already dangerous forward line and if City are to go deep in 4 competitions this term – he could have been a defining player in their quest.
Sanchez is a two-time Copa America winner with his native Chile, has won numerous trophies with Barcelona and two FA Cups with Arsenal. He also looks to instil his winning attitude into his team mates and was seen berating some of his fellow Arsenal players during their 3-3 draw at Bournemouth last season. In the absence of Vincent Kompany for large parts of last season, City lacked leaders and Sanchez could have led by example.
‘Style of Play’
Much of Sanchez’s success comes from his willingness to run at defences when he has the ball and chase them down when he is not in possession. While City are one of the best in the league at keeping possession, they can find it hard to penetrate opposition defences, and their performances can look a little apathetic at times. Sanchez’s 100% effort at all times could have been inspirational to his team mates and the City fans.
‘Experience of playing for Guardiola’
Pep Guardiola is renowned for being a forward thinking manager who sticks to his principles. Sanchez was an important part of Guardiola’s team in Pep’s last season at the Nou Camp and is familiar with Guardiola’s style of play. It still seems that City haven’t fully settled on a starting 11 as yet this term and they can tactically look a little exposed – Sanchez wouldn’t have needed too much time to acclimatise to the demands of the club and the manager.
The impact missing out on Sanchez will have on City’s season remains to be seen and with the plethora of attacking options at their disposal – they’re sure to be a force to be reckoned with this season.
But with all the talk now being of Sanchez moving to City in January (for a significantly lower fee than £60 million) it could well be a case of what if – if the Blues don’t keep pace with United at the top of the table.