Former Arsenal midfielder and Invincibles star Edu believes Alexis Sanchez has become one of the world's top five footballers after moving to north London last summer.
Arsene Wenger forked out a reported £35 million to sign the Chile international from Barcelona and he has gone a long way to justifying that fee. Sanchez has scored 12 goals in the Premier League and has impressed with a series of spectacular performances.
Edu, who left Arsenal in 2005 after making 100 Premier League appearances for the club, believes Sanchez has elevated himself into an elite bracket of footballers since becoming the main man at the Emirates and will be crucial as the Gunners battle for a top four place.
“Many people say that he is one of the current top five players in the world in the position he plays in"
A top five player
“At the moment he is doing fantastically well for Arsenal – he is arguably their best player of the season so far,” said Edu.
“Many people say that he is one of the current top five players in the world in the position he plays in.
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“He was also very good at Barcelona last season and that gave him great experience by playing for such a large club. He is a very important player for Arsenal."
Arsenal fans have watched another big money signing, Mesut Ozil, struggle to adapt to the rigours of the English game while Angel di Maria is another high profile La Liga import to suffer.
“He has adapted very well to English football but that doesn’t surprise me, given his talent"
Sanchez has bucked the trend and has quickly adapted to the physical nature of the Premier League. Edu believes Sanchez's superior strength has helped him to thrive at Arsenal. He expects the forward to get even better as he settles in north London.
“He has adapted very well to English football but that doesn’t surprise me, given his talent. English football is a different style of football, especially if you contrast it with Barcelona’s unique style. He is very strong player too which surprises many people.
“I don’t like to compare players from the past with current players as it depends on the moment that they are playing in, both internationally and at club level.
“It would be difficult to compare the top players I played with and Alexis Sanchez. But Sanchez is doing very well and he is still young and will develop into becoming an even better player.”
The wrong time?
Edu's comments will be appreciated by Arsenal fans but appear to have come at the wrong time. Sanchez is suffering a dip in form having failed to score in any of his last eight games in all competitions. In this time, he has assisted a single goal against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.
The most disappointing performance came against Monaco. Sanchez is expected to save his best performances for the biggest games but appeared unable to break down a stubborn Monaco defence. Sanchez can be one of the world's top five players, but he certainly is not playing like one at the moment.
Is Alexis Sanchez one of the world's top five players or has he still got a lot of work to do? Give us your thoughts in the comments box below!