The Reds’ transfer target was in electrifying form as Chile knocked Spain out of the World Cup on Wednesday, highlighting further what a terrific signing he’d be for Liverpool.
Alexis Sanchez has been linked with a move to Liverpool for a number of weeks now, with the Barcelona attacker reportedly out of favour at Camp Nou under new manager Luis Enrique.
Wednesday evening’s World Cup clash between Sanchez’s Chile and world champions Spain was the perfect opportunity for Reds fans to take a look at the gifted 25-year-old, and he didn’t disappoint.
From start to finish the former Udinese man was superb as Chile won 2-0 to knock Spain out, and he was the standout player in a team of outstanding performers on the night.
Deployed up front in a 3-5-2 formation, Sanchez was a constant menace to the Spain defence, and displayed a versatility and intelligence to his game that suits Brendan Rodgers’ attacking game down to the ground.
He often popped up on the right-hand side, where his pace and trickery often got the better of the equally speedy Jordi Alba, but he also dropped deep centrally at times and drifted out to the left. He’s an incredibly tough player to mark.
Most importantly, Sanchez proved that he has substance to his game rather than just being an unpredictable speedster. He played a key part in both of Chile’s goals in a scintillating first-half display by Jorge Sampaoli’s team.
— barcastuff (@barcastuff) June 18, 2014
First, the 25-year-old pounced on an under-hit ball by Xabi Alonso, played a neat one-two with Juventus star Artuto Vidal, before finding Charles Aranquiz with an incisive pass into the penalty area. Aranguiz’s clever ball found Eduardo Vargas, who fired Chile in front.
It was the type of goal that we saw scored so often at Anfield last season, and the thought of Sanchez linking up with the likes of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling is mouth-watering.
The South American side’s second goal also saw Sanchez at the centre of the action. His well struck, dipping free-kick- set pieces are another strong attribute of his- was only punched straight to Aranguiz by Iker Casillas, and he finished coolly to double Chile’s lead.
Chile continued to look in control of their own destiny in the second-half, and although Spain had plenty of the ball, Sanchez was a menace every time his side broke on the counter-attack.
His ability to run with the ball and change direction at pace, and either cut inside or go on the outside of the defender, make him unplayable at times.
It was a fabulous team performance, but Sanchez stood out as the real superstar of the side. After an equally brilliant display in Chile’s opening match against Australia, he has been one of the players of the World Cup so far.
— Jay Riley (@Jay_78_) June 19, 2014
It was not just his flair that impressed either, but also his movement off the ball to create space for his teammates, and his relentless work ethic.
You won’t see a more hard-working side than Chile at this World Cup, and Sanchez’s non-stop pressing for the good of the team is yet another part of his game that Rodgers clearly admires. The Northern Irishman demands that his attacking players work hard, pressing teams high up the pitch.
The hope is that Liverpool are not looking to bring Sanchez to Anfield as a replacement for Suarez, but rather to play alongside him.
A front three of Sanchez, Suarez and Sturridge interchanging would make Liverpool one of the most potent attacking sides in European football. There would also be much flexibility to rest one another during the long European and domestic and campaign.
If Liverpool had Alexis Sanchez, Raheem Sterling, Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Coutinho attacking I think teams would actually forfeit.
— Jack Widnell (@jackwfootball) June 18, 2014
Although a deal for the Barcelona man appears relatively unlikely at the moment, if the club managed to acquire his signature it may prove to be one of their best signings under Rodgers.
Chile are dark horses to go a long way in the World Cup, and in Alexis Sanchez they have someone with the ability to be the star of the whole tournament.
How much would you be willing to pay for Alexis Sanchez? Can you see him being a Liverpool player next season? Let us know in the comments section below.