It's true that Arsene Wenger has had disappointing seasons since his 2005 FA Cup victory over Manchester United, and many fans would put that down to his lack in signings. The capture of Alexis Sanchez, however, will bring hope to Arsenal fans that the Premier League can be won for the first time since 2004.
But will Sanchez make the difference? Sanchez offers more optimism to fans and the players around him. There is now more belief that the club can win more than the FA Cup, and more trophies, more regularly. The signing of Sanchez is a sign that Wenger is attempting to compete with the dominating top clubs in Europe as well as the League.
His contribution will of course make a significant difference. The inclusion of Sanchez can only be good for the club; with more big name footballers being linked towards the club. Moreover, the class and attacking ability that Arsenal have will only strengthen.
When Theo Walcott returns from the injury he sustained against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup, Arsenal’s attacking line-up is one that will terrify defenders. The addition of Sanchez can be listed with Ozil, Cazorla, Rosicky, Walcott, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud and the exciting prospect of Joel Campbell. There certainly is enough depth in Arsenal’s striking force.
But, the signing of Sanchez won’t make a difference to the amount of trophies Arsenal can win. From that list, it is clear that there are enough attackers available. Of course, a second competing striker would benefit the team more. But that is not to say that Sanchez will be the difference between winning trophies and not.
There are greater issues for Arsenal. The necessity to have a defensive midfielder is a more considerable problem, and the likes of Sami Khedira, Lars Bender and Morgan Schneiderlin would prove a great fit for the club.
The departure of Bacary Sagna has left a void at right-back and questions over Carl Jenkinson’s ability have been prominent since, but the signing of Mathieu Debuchy is also exciting. Furthermore, Arsenal’s FA Cup hero Lukasz Fabianski has moved to Swansea and so another (if not two) goalkeepers are also a priority for the team.
The addition of Sanchez was perhaps not needed. A ‘complete’ striker would have been better. Other positions also need to be filled. But what Sanchez’s signing does do the club is give more optimism and more belief that Arsenal can compete with the top teams and not, as was seen last season, be embarrassed by its closest rivals.
In capturing Sanchez, Arsenal will be able to bolster their attack, but is there such a difference from the attacking line up from last year? Yes, he will add skill, determination and flair, but surely all the other attackers offered the same? In my opinion, Sanchez is more of a statement; to other teams and to fans.