Alexis Sanchez can be one of Arsenal's greats: Thierry Henry
Arsenal’s all-time record goalscorer Thierry Henry has said that 26-year-old Chilean international Alexis Sanchez has been the club’s best recruit in the last five-to-six years. The forward was brought from FC Barcelona last year, for a fee in the range of £35 million. He has scored 18 goals in 30 appearances for the Gunners across all competitions, so far.
The 37-year-old Frenchman, who left the club in 2007 but returned on loan for a second stint in 2012, felt that Sanchez has been exceptional in his short time so far at the club and sounded optimistic about him becoming a great player in the years to come.
“He is a very, very good player and you know that if he is on tune, then Arsenal have a lot of chances to win the game. I am trying to think of the last five or six years [to decide whether there has been a better signing]. It is still early days but so far it is very good. He is doing extremely well. He is going to score goals but it is his all-round game that I am so impressed with. That has no price. As a fan you are waiting to have a player like that. Finally we have one,” Henry said, at the FIFA Ballon d'Or in Zurich on Monday.
“Arsenal were looking for a player that can deliver on a daily basis and they have found one. He is brilliant – work rate, he can see the game incredibly as you saw with the goal on Sunday. He scores goals and doesn’t need a lot of opportunities to put the ball in back of the net – that is very important,” he added.
He also felt that the reason why Sanchez didn't have the best of times at the Nou Camp could be because he couldn’t get into any rhythm as often as he would’ve liked to. In a three-year spell at the club, the striker scored 47 goals in 141 games, across all competitions.
“He struggled at the beginning, like everybody, but when he got into a rhythm, you can see the quality. We should all be happy with him, especially Arsenal,” he said.
Arsenal have begun well, but still have a long way to go: Henry
The club last won the Premier League in 2004 but did win the FA Cup last season. When asked whether he thought they were on their way back to their glory days, Henry said that the early signs have been good, but there is still a long way to go.He also hoped that Sanchez would play a key role in them getting back among the top teams.
“I haven’t been around the dressing room for a long time and I don’t know what they are working on. But, from afar, they don’t seem so far away. Having said that, they are still some distance from the first spot. All I will say is that when he [Sanchez] is in tune, it is way better for Arsenal. On the other side, it is going to take a team effort to get back to the top,” he said.