Alexis Sanchez is saving Arsenal from unthinkable Premier League position

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Arsenal legend Ian Wright has claimed that the Gunners are nothing more than a mid-table outfit without the input of £35 million summer signing Alexis Sanchez, a criticism that if anything is being slightly kind when you crunch the numbers.

Sanchez has been a revelation since swapping Barcelona for the Premier League, scoring eight goals in 11 matches and 12 in total across all competitions.

The Chilean maestro's impressive form hasn't been enough to stop Arsenal enduring their worst start to a domestic campaign in 32 years, which begs the question just where would the Gunners be in the table if Sanchez wasn't performing heroics in the final third?

Five points dropped without Sanchez

Take Sanchez's goals away so far this season and Arsenal take an alarming slide down the table, which is saying something given that they are languishing in eighth following last weekend's 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.

Arsenal would be five points worse off if you take away strikes from the 25-year-old, with draws against Leicester City, Manchester City and Hull City all turning to defeats. A brace against Sunderland in a 2-0 win also becomes a disappointing away stalemate, leaving Wenger's side alongside the likes of Aston Villa and Crystal Palace with just 12 points from as many Premier League games.

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Wright's frustration is understandable

Terrific individual displays from Sanchez have failed to mask a growing sense of discontent among Arsenal fans with their under-performing side, with the momentum of last season's dramatic FA Cup final victory all but lost.

Wright captured that lingering sense of disappointment when he co-presented BBC Radio 5 Live's 606 programme after the defeat to United, insisting: "If it wasn't for Sanchez, where would they be now? 

"They are mid-table without Alexis Sanchez."

Arsenal's former record goalscorer was also asked about Wenger's position at the club and intimated that the experienced Frenchman may be reaching the end of the line.

He claimed: "It's very frustrating. It's getting to that time now."

No time for sulking ahead of Dortmund test

Wenger will have no time to ponder the security of his position this week, with Arsenal facing a Champions League tie against group leaders Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates tomorrow night.

The Gunners only need a point to guarantee Champions League qualification against a side who have also struggled desperately in their own domestic championship so far this season, but after a run of three successive defeats it may take another piece of magic from Arsenal's £150,000-a-week man to make that last-16 spot an absolute certainty.

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Alexis Sanchez
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