Has anyone seen this man? Arsenal superstar goes missing
His debut-season exploits made an indelible mark, but much like the breakthrough band whose second album fell a little flat, Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez has struggled to replicate the magic in 2015/16.
After blasting his way to a quarter century of goals in 2014/15, Sanchez could do no wrong in Arsenal eyes and so soon after losing a virtually uncontainable force, English football appeared to gain another one.
Sanchez’s blend of pace, balance, trickery and tenacity in the challenge marked him out as a very special talent, very much in the mould of Luis Suarez.
But as Suarez continues to rewrite the record books with Sanchez’s old boys Barcelona, in contrast, it feels like the Chilean has misplaced his mojo.
A nasty hamstring injury which kept him sidelined for the best part of two months mid-season was sure to disrupt his flow, but the hangover from it feels disproportionately long.
Arsenal’s go-to source of goals last term has found the net just twice in 13 matches since returning to the fold in late January and it’s no coincidence that the Gunners’ season has slid off the rails as well.
As this infographic details, the stats support the theory that Sanchez has looked a shadow of his former self at times during the campaign.
Albeit over five less games, in Premier League terms Arsenal’s number 17 is only firing on around half the cylinders compared to his incredible personal achievements of last season.
Anyone who has watched his performances closely will have seen a player who is arguably trying too hard to accomplish everything on the pitch by himself.
There is no reason why the 27-year-old cannot rediscover his best form, but if Arsenal are to seriously challenge for the title down the run-in, something Ladbrokes rate as an 11/2 chance, they need the old Alexis to turn up.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.