Arsenal Boss Reveals Key Reason Behind Recent Positional Switch for Star Man Alexis Sanchez

Tom Power

​Arsene Wenger has revealed the reason behind his decision to switch Alexis Sanchez back out onto the wing from the central striking position he has been deployed in this season.

The forward has often led the line for the Gunners throughout the 2016/17 campaign, but has been switched back out wide in recent weeks with Wenger seemingly preferring the physically robust Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck has the focal point of his attack.

Speaking to the ​Metro ahead of his side's clash with Middlesbrough on Monday, however, the Frenchman admitted that he had moved Sanchez onto the left wing for the sole reason that the Chile international prefers to play in that area of the pitch rather than as a lone frontman.

Crystal Palace v Arsenal - Premier League
Crystal Palace v Arsenal - Premier League

Wenger said: "He played for a while centre-forward and has the focus needed to score. He plays with an aggressive attitude. Fortunately, he’s a player who likes to touch the ball a lot.

"He prefers to play wide than up front. He can get more of the ball. He has to keep the balance between providing and goalscoring."

Sanchez has been on fire for Arsenal throughout this term in front of goal, with the 28-year-old plundering a remarkable 22 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions.

His goals and displays for the Gunners led Sanchez to receiving a nomination for the PFA's Player of the Season award on Thursday - a fitting place on the six-man shortlist for his endeavours throughout the past eight months.

Sanchez's contractual situation at the Emirates is still up in the air, however, and the talismanic marksman is yet to show any indication of whether he will decide to stay in North London beyond the end of this season.

Wenger's decision to move Sanchez into a wide role could be the 67-year-old's way of trying to placate his star and convince him to remain in the Premier League but, with just 15 months left on his current deal, it remains to be seen whether Sanchez will opt to put pen-to-paper or ask for a move away.

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