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Yannick Carrasco is reportedly being lined up as a possible replacement for Alexis Sanchez. He would be a very intriguing option for Arsenal, one that should be explored extensively this summer.
As the summer continues to roll on, it is becoming increasingly clear that Alexis Sanchez will likely not be at the club next season. After repeatedly spurning contract talks throughout the past year, compounded by sideline strops, training ground spats and general moping and gesticulating at his teammates’ insufficient standards, it was always going to be a tough challenge for Arsenal to convince him to stay.
The challenge is only made tougher by the lack of Champions League football for the first time in 21 years, a competition that Sanchez is yet to win and will certainly be a major career goal for him.
And if Sanchez were to leave, as is expected, then Arsenal will have to replace 24 Premier League goals, 10 assists, and an influence reaching far more than just the penalty area. Sanchez is intertwined with Arsenal’s best attacking football. He provides an impetus and intentionality to the often confused, wayward, safe passing in midfield areas. His impact will be extremely difficult to replicate.
Finding a replacement will require investment in the transfer window. A number of different names have been rumoured to be of interest for the Gunners, from Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez to a remarkable, world-record bid for Kylian Mbappe.
However, a more left-field name that has been linked with a move recently is Atletico Madrid’s talented winger Yannick Carrasco.
As a direct, fluent, pacy winger, Carrasco has a wonderful blend of skill, touch and athleticism to beat defenders with ease. He floats by players without trouble consistently, he commits defenders to tackles they don’t want to make, he pulls teams out of their shape and structure because of the problems that his dribbling causes, and he has the quality at the end of it all to score goals and create chances.
Moreover, at just 23 years of age, he has the time and room to develop. His 10 La Liga goals, along with his four assists, are proof of his ability and hint towards a bright and prosperous future ahead of him. He may not be the established star that Sanchez is. But he does have the natural talent to grow into a player of such a calibre.
Pursuing Carrasco as an Alexis replacement is an intriguing possibility, one that should definitely be explored.