With the swap deal of Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan finally complete I thought I’d take a look at who might be the best option to take in my team with the caveat being that I can only have one.
This seems like a simple one on the face of it, with Alexis’ having more experience in the Premier League and a proven track record of scoring goals but will a hungry Henrikh, who’s been a little underwhelming since his move from Borussia Dortmund in 2016, be capable of outperforming the Chilean in the coming months?
Let’s start with an easy one, the price and it’s got to be said about the Armenian that he could prove to be an absolute snip at £7.6m, more than four million less than Sanchez. In reality if you want to bring Sanchez in you’re going to have to lose one of the other top priced players, Kane/Hazard//Salah/Aguero whereas if you’re making space for Mkhitaryan it’s going to be much more feasible. On price alone, Henrikh gets the nod.
Arsenal – 38 FDR
Manchester United – 39 FDR
When Alexis Sanchez finally completes his move to Manchester his first match will see him make an immediate return to London to face a familiar foe, Tottenham. And there’s a number of tricky fixtures in the run in with no extended run of ‘easier’ games. United still have to host Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal whilst also having to squeeze in a visit to runaway league leaders Manchester City.
Meanwhile Arsenal have a tricky pair of games in February as they face Spurs and Man City back-to-back, but after that the following seven games are all fixtures Arsene Wenger will expect to win. A trip to Old Trafford at the back end of the season could potentially derail a late charge for Champions League place but they see out the season with games against Burnley and Huddersfield.
The very scientific Fixture Difficulty Rating has both sides with similar scores when totted up and ideally you’d probably take Sanchez for the next few games then switch. But in this reality where we can only have one, I’d plump for Mkhitaryan here too.
Sanchez: 19 Games, 7 Goals, 3 Assists, 97 Points
Mkhitaryan: 15 Games, 1 Goal, 5 Assists, 57 Points
I don’t claim to be a guy with great insight and I’m not going to go into any great depth here in the stats other than to say in pretty much every department Alexis get’s the nod.
He’s played more, scored more, won more fouls, been more accurate with his shots and just generally looks to be more of a threat than his Armenian counterpart. He’s also created more chances although interestingly Mkhitaryan has more assists. This could be because he’s been providing for United forwards while Sanchez has been setting up Arsenal’s front men. In which case the advantage there would now go to Sanchez who will be assisting the more prolific strikers.
Crucially Sanchez has picked up more points and averages a very helaty 5.1 points per match while Mkhitaryan is at 3.8, translating to an extra 18 points over the remaining games, that could be a big difference maker.
So by my very technical methods Mkhitaryan wins out 2-1, he also has the benefit of being more likely to be an effective differential as I would expect many people to bring Sanchez into their teams this coming week, possibly utilising their Wildcard to do so.
However as always, you’ve got to listen to your gut and mine tells me I will regret it if I don’t also make room for Alexis.
It’s a difficult one but if I can only have one, it has to be Sanchez. I’m very tempted to go for Mkhitaryan, the the less intimidating run of games and affordability is drawing me in and it’s a really difficult decision to make but the proven track record of Alexis is what swings it, despite the hefty price tag.
Who would you take?