Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has stated that Alexis Sanchez has proven that he is capable of playing as a striker and that he suits the role as the furthest man forward for the North London side.

The Chile international was signed from Barcelona in 2014 and has starred in the Premier League from a left flank position largely.

However, with Olivier Giroud lacking fitness at the start of the new campaign, Arsenal have played the South American as their number nine and Sanchez has excelled.

When the France international returns to fitness, Wenger will have a decision to make over where best to use the Chilean.

This may well be on Saturday as the Gunners face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, with Giroud expected to be in the matchday squad for the Premier League fixture.

Wenger has stated that Sanchez has all the attributes to excel as a striker and that his ability to play in a number of roles offers Arsenal versatility.

“I see him there (as a striker) because he is the kind of guy, he is provocative,” the Gunners boss told Sky Sports.

“He has a short technique and can always create something. He has a good mixture between scoring and giving the final ball.

“In my taste, he still comes too much to the ball, because Alexis Sanchez likes to have the ball. But that’s why when we have Theo Walcott – it balances well, because when he comes, Walcott goes. This is a good mixture, a good working unit.

“I had other players, I had [Danny] Welbeck, I had [Olivier] Giroud, who in my opinion are more central players than Alexis. Alexis came here as a winger and he wanted always to play there.

“When I tried him there a few times, I remember I tried him at Aston Villa and I took him off at half-time. Or at Everton, I put Giroud on when we were 2-0 down in the first game of the season.

“Maybe I made up my mind that he is more of a winger. But I didn’t give up and I think he is happy there.”

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