Arsene Wenger likens Alexis Sanchez to Luis Suarez

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Arsene Wenger has admitted that he was not convinced by Alexis Sanchez the first couple of times he played him as a central striker but is now confident he has made the right decision.

The Chilean spent the first two seasons as an Arsenal player on the wings but now finds himself the spearhead in a dynamic attack that also includes Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi.

Considering he spent £17million on Lucas Perez and also has Olivier Giroud on the bench, it was a big call from the Frenchman to make in what represents a crucial season for his legacy.

But the gamble is starting to pay off. Sanchez has five goals in his last six appearances for the Gunners as well as three assists and is starting to look like a man capable of inspiring a Premier League title charge.

Wenger, who will enter an unprecedented third decade as manager of Arsenal later this week, is delighted with Sanchez's contribution thus far and has likened him to Barcelona stalwart Luis Suarez.

Similar to Suarez

He told Sky Sports: "First of all I had big competition up front. I thought [Danny] Welbeck could play there, Giroud was playing there with different qualities and I reflected for a long time at the end of the season.

"Where he's strong is that he can dribble, finish and he can also give a final ball"

"I decided to try Sanchez [up front]. He has similarities with Luis Suarez. At the start many people questioned that decision."

Not convinced

For the moment, it is looking like an inspired decision but it could have gone completely the other way for the former Barcelona and Udinese man. Sanchez failed to make an impact in Arsenal's opening two games of the season in which they lost to Liverpool and drew against Leicester City.

Even Wenger admits he had doubts about whether he had made the right decision and seriously considered moving Sanchez back to the left wing at the expense of Iwobi. 

"Where he's strong is that he can dribble, finish and he can also give a final ball"

"I must say the few times I tried him before, he was not convincing in this position," the Frenchman said.

"You start to think is that a wrong decision or do I have to give him more time?

"In the first two games I was not completely convinced but know, game after game, he's growing into this position and getting better and better. 

"Where he's strong is that he can dribble, finish and he can also give a final ball."

New dynamic

And it now looks like Sanchez will be playing in the position for a while longer with Wenger hoping he will eventually bring a new dimension to Arsenal's attacking play.

Wenger finished: "I've always thought he has the attributes to bring something different to the team because he has a different style of play.

"And what I like with him is he can see a pass too. That's very important too."

Thierry Henry
Alexis Sanchez
Premier League
Aaron Ramsey
Arsene Wenger
Theo Walcott

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