With this weekend’s showdown battle for third place between Manchester United and Arsenal fast approaching, Lewis Addley looks at who has been more influential in the Premier League this season, Wayne Rooney or Alexis Sanchez?
The two attackers go head-to-head in arguably their most important fixture of the season after Arsene Wenger’s comments regarding the difference coming third can make in terms of transfers. The game has added importance as the victor will edge closer to securing third place and will therefore avoid the Champions League qualifiers.
This has been another transitional season for United and it looks like Louis Van Gaal is getting closer to the side he wants and bringing United back to the top level.
Rooney has been used in a number of different roles this season and the United captain has remained very professional about it. He is still arguably the best striker for the Red Devils and his qualities have made him the stand out attacking option in the United side.
Sanchez’s first season with Arsenal has been brilliant. He was nominated for PFA Player of the Year and he has been the difference in many of his side’s games.
So how do the two compare in their key offensive areas this season?
|Stats via Squawka||Apps||Goals||Assists||Pass Accuracy||Chances Created||Shot Accuracy||Duels Won||Successful Take-Ons|
Having both played the same number of games, Rooney’s goal output is still impressive. It is lower than previous seasons, but being used in a midfield role on occasions certainly hasn’t helped. Sanchez does have a better goals-per-game ratio than the England captain.
Rooney has more assists, which isn’t surprising given he plays a more central role, and has a more successful pass rate. Surprisingly though, Sanchez has created more chances, as his ability to get his head down and run at defences makes him a very tough player to stop.
Sanchez has a far greater success rate when it comes to take-ons which also gives him a better ‘duels won’ percentage.
Both are playing in similar squads and are certainly the key players when looking at offensive options.
Their battle this weekend will help to show who can perform at the highest level under immense pressure. Rooney could well edge it with the home crowd behind him but Sanchez will look to hurt the Red Devils where possible.
Who do you think is the more influential player, Rooney or Sanchez?