Pellegrini: “Alexis Sánchez is Premier League’s best player…”
This Sunday sees Manchester City welcome Arsenal to the Etihad in what promises to be a spicy encounter after last season’s 6-3 epic.
Back in September the two teams met at the Emirates in a hard fought 2-2 draw. A game which entertained the fans throughout and saw the debuts of both Frank Lampard and Danny Welbeck. Goals from Jack Wilshere, Martín Demichelis and one each by Alexis Sánchez and Sergio Agüero saw the two sides match each other blow for blow.
Since then both Sánchez and Agüero have enjoyed excellent campaigns for their clubs. So much so that our friends at Opta powered fantasy football game www.oulala.com have taken an in-depth look at the two players as they come head to head once more in Sunday’s much anticipated clash.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini recently revealed who he believes is the best player in English football, and it wasn’t his starman at City, Sergio Agüero. In fact, the 61-year-old actually thinks that Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez is the Premier League’s number one player. Of his Chilean compatriot Pellegrini said “Every game I see him making a great effort, showing great commitment, ambition and the maturity needed to keep improving year after year”. He added “I’m happy for him because at this time he is the best player in English football”.
A knee injury in December saw Sergio Agüero miss the busy Christmas period appearing in 4 games fewer than Sánchez and in terms of actual playing time the Arsenal man has completed 600 minutes more than his opponent. Despite the time spent on the pitch it is in-fact Agüero that has scored more league goals, netting 14 times to Sánchez’s 12, a rate of 1.17 goals per 90 minutes compared to a 0.64 strike rate from the Chilean. Sánchez has however enjoyed a better shot accuracy with 67% of his attempts on target compared to 59% from Agüero.
The Arsenal striker leads the assist stats with a rate of 0.38 per 90 minutes against Agüero’s 0.25. Sánchez has also been involved in more goals this season, a total of 19, scoring 12 and assisting 7, two more than Agüero’s tally of 17.
Both players are well known for their dribbling abilities and when comparing the two it is the Man City striker that leads the way with more than double the amount of successful dribbles, 6.9 per 90 minutes to Sánchez’s 3.4.
It’s difficult to split the two strikers overall so this game could play a big part in their battle for individual honours come the end of the season.
Do you agree with Pellegrini? Has Sánchez been better than Agüero this season?