BBC pundit: I was howling with laughter when Shearer gave his Sanchez verdict
By Will Butcher
Garth Crooks believes Alexis Sanchez is a “world-class striker” after he scored a hat-trick during Arsenal’s 5-1 win against West Ham.
The 27-year-old was in electric form for the Gunners, as he put Slaven Bilic’s defence to the sword at the London Stadium.
Writing in his BBC Sport column, Crooks revealed that he believes the Chile international is one of the world’s best and took fellow pundit Alan Shearer to task for claiming Sanchez does not belong in that category.
“I found myself howling with laughter watching Match of the Day as Gary Lineker (as I knew he would) took Alan Shearer to task about his definition of a world-class striker.
“‘Links’ absolutely nailed Alan and continued to bait him over the statement that he thought Aguero was the only world-class striker in the Premier League. Well, I’m with ‘Links’ on this one.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“Sanchez easily joins that rank [world-class strikers] and I’m really struggling to understand what he lacks to not fit into the category.”
“I’ve said it before in this column that when more people agree than disagree about a player’s world-class status, more often than not those that agree are right.”
The former Barcelona star has finally been given a chance to spearhead Arsene Wenger’s attack this season, after playing out wide since his move from the Spanish champions in 2014.
His form has proved that a move into the number nine role should have occurred a lot earlier, with 13 goals coming in just 19 league and cup appearances for the North London giants.
Sanchez was even on hand to add an assist on Saturday, as he squared for Mesut Ozil to break the deadlock.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored the pick of the bunch to round off the victory, with a wonderful long-range effort in the dying embers of the London derby.
Sanchez is likely to feature in the Champions League on Tuesday night, as the Gunners travel to Switzerland to face FC Basel despite already qualifying from Group A.