Alexis Sanchez has established himself as a player of real importance in his fledgling Arsenal career and, according to Ray Parlour, the Chilean’s performances for his new club are comparable to those of Luis Suarez at last season’s peak.
Sanchez was a £32 million acquisition from Barcelona during the summer transfer window and has provided a more immediate impact than many would have expected, scoring nine times in his 12 appearances.
He has found the net four times in Arsenal’s last two outings, both much needed Premier League victories over Sunderland and Burnley respectively, to further mark himself out as Arsene Wenger’s most potent attacking threat.
But it is not simply his goalscoring prowess that has allowed Sanchez to flourish in English football, but his endeavour and willingness to work himself into the ground for the cause. This, says Parlour, is a trait that makes Sanchez and Suarez so similar.
"You're always hoping for new signings coming into the Premier League, who are not used to the Premier League, that they can hit the ground running - like Diego Costa's done at Chelsea,” the former Arsenal midfielder told Sky Sports.
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"We knew Cesc Fabregas could do it because he's done it before, but certainly Sanchez, he's come in and it really suits him, the Premier League - he's quick, he's hustle-bustle, he's been kicked a few times, he's got straight back up, he's chasing balls down.
"I think he's the nearest I've seen to Suarez - the work-rate."
“I always look at players when they're on the ball, great to see them turn and twist, score goals and set chances up, but I like to see a player off the ball as well, working so hard for his team, and certainly he's done that this season.
“And Suarez, that was exactly what he did last year for Liverpool."
Suarez was, by quite some distance, the leading scoring in the Premier League last season and his goals so very nearly led Liverpool to the title. It was, however, Manchester City who clinched the crown.
While there was no trophy to take back to Anfield, the performances of Suarez saw him win a PFA and FWA awards double, share the European Golden Shoe with Cristiano Ronaldo and earn a £75 million transfer to Barcelona. Not bad going.
He could, of course, have moved to Arsenal a year before his transfer to Barcelona, but Liverpool were not prepared to sanction a deal despite the north London club having activated the player’s release clause.
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