Arsenal star told to drop his ego and start passing to his world-class teammate
Alexis Sanchez has been told to play nicely with Chile teammate Arturo Vidal.
Jose Luis Chilavert, the former Paraguay goalkeeper, wants Sanchez to put aside his ego for the benefit of the Chile national team.
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Sanchez and Vidal are Chile’s most recognisable players but Chilavert believes the two are holding the South American team back.
Chilavert, who played in two World Cups, gave an interview to El Mercurio in Chile in which he questioned the attitude of the Arsenal and Bayern Munich players.
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Chile won Copa America last year, with Sanchez scoring the winning penalty in the final against Argentina, but the former Real Zaragoza ‘keeper thinks their problems - they are fourth in the South America division of World Cup qualifying - stems from Sanchez and Vidal’s indifference towards one another.
He said, per Sport Witness: “Chile’s midfield should focus on finding a solution for the problem there is between Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez should leave his ego to one side to play calmly with Vidal, one of the best players in the world, like Sanchez.
“There’s an internal problem that is causing Chile problems. Sanchez doesn’t pass to Vidal and vice-versa. Therefore, the loser is the team. Egos should be put to one side for the good of the country.”
Chilavert is right to be concerned - successive defeats to Uruguay and Argentina left Chile adrift of their rivals in World Cup qualifying - but his comments couldn’t have come at a worse moment.
On Tuesday night, Vidal scored the fourth goal in a 4-1 win over Venezuela. Sanchez assisted the goal.
Reports in Chile last year claimed that there was a rift between the two stars.
According to La Tercera, Sanchez and Vidal are jealous of each other’s success despite once playing together at Colo Colo and sharing the same agent.
But it’s not just Vidal who is unhappy with the former Barcelona winger. Arsenal fans have been wondering where the Sanchez of 2014-15 is for weeks now.
The 27-year-old has been a shadow of the player who lit up the Premier League last season, scoring 11 goals in an injury-disrupted campaign.
After scoring 25 goals in his debut season, Arsenal fans expected more from their £35 million man.
The Gunners could be on the verge of their first Premier League title in 12 years if Sanchez enjoyed a consistent season but, unfortunately, too much of the workload has been left to Petr Cech and Mesut Ozil, who appear unable to carry the team to glory unassisted.
Instead of picking holes with his Chile performances, Chilavert should be wondering why Sanchez isn’t producing the goods for Arsenal.