Football

Arsene Wenger: 'Sanchez has killer instinct’

Wenger says red-hot Chilean has all the ingredients of a top-class striker

WEST HAM ARSENAL
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(Andy Carroll 83) (Mesut Oezil 24, Alexis Sanchez 72, 80, 86, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 84)

Arsene Wenger felt Alexis Sanchez showed the "killer instinct" of a world-class striker after he tore West Ham to shreds yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Sanchez hit a sparkling second-half hat-trick to fire Arsenal up to second in the English Premier League with a 5-1 demolition of the Hammers.

Arsenal fans have long bemoaned Wenger's inability to sign a 20-goal a season forward to fire them to the title.

But the Frenchman looks like he has finally struck gold after moving the Chile international from midfield into attack.

Sanchez, 27, now has scored 11 goals in 14 EPL games.

"He likes the position," the Gunners manager said.

"When he walks off with the ball under his arm, it's a good feeling and I hope there is more to come.

"The leading strikers in football at the moment are South Americans. He has all the ingredients to be a top-class striker and he showed that again.

"He's quick, he can dribble, and he has the killer instinct."

Sanchez unselfishly set up Mesut Oezil for Arsenal's 24th-minute opener, but the visitors had to wait until 18 minutes from the end to double their lead.

It was worth the wait, though, as Sanchez burst into the penalty area, brushing off Arthur Masuaku and Angelo Ogbonna before drilling his shot across Darren Randolph.

Sanchez crashed in the third from the edge of the area with 10 minutes remaining to spark an exodus from disgruntled home fans at the London Stadium.

WAGE DEMANDS

Andy Carroll emerged from the bench after three-and-a-half months out to pull one back for West Ham but, moments later, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain restored the three-goal cushion.

And Sanchez completed his treble in style, racing onto Oxlade-Chamberlain's pass and putting Randolph on his backside with a cute dummy before clipping home.

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand says Arsenal cannot argue if Sanchez wants to be made the club's best-paid player.

With just 18 months left to run on his current contract at the Emirates Stadium, Ferdinand is adamant the Gunners should bow to his demands.

"If he comes in and says, 'I want to be your top paid player', then they can't argue," Ferdinand told BT Sport.

"He was playing with a team who were winning (Barcelona) and it didn't quite happen for him. Here, he's the main man, the talisman, the kingpin and he might want that for his ego."

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright also believes Sanchez is now in a strong bargaining position and has advised Wenger to pull out all the stops to keep the forward's services.

"Absolutely - without a shadow of a doubt. They've got to do everything to make sure he does stay," Wright insisted.

In contrast to Arsenal's relentless energy, West Ham were abject and manager Slaven Bilic's position is coming under increasing scrutiny.

"I'm very disappointed, frustrated and humiliated," admitted Bilic.

"I want to say sorry to the fans and to the club. It was really bad. I am very optimistic, I never give up. I'm positive I can turn this around. Do I enjoy this? No. Do I feel pressure? Yes.

"Did I do enough last year to get some credit? Yes, I did. But I know how football works."- WIRE SERVICES

eplarsenalWest Ham United