Alexis Sanchez
Sanchez scored his 12th goal of the season to help Arsenal into the last 16 of the Champions League.Getty Images

Liverpool are paying for not replacing Luis Suarez with Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez, according to former England and Manchester United defender Gary Neville.

Sanchez has flourished since joining the Gunners from Barcelona during the summer transfer window, scoring 12 goals and making three assists - the Chilean's latest contribution coming as Arsene Wenger's side reached the last 16 of the Champions League with victory over Borussia Dortmund.

The former Barcelona forward's prowess in front of goal for Arsenal has been in stark contrast to that of Liverpool, who have struggled to find the net this term without Suarez and in the absence of the injured Daniel Sturridge.

Rickie Lambert, Mario Balotelli and Fabio Borini have managed just one league goal between them this season with the weekend loss to Crystal Palace highlighting the attacking problems Liverpool are currently beset with.

During the summer transfer window when Liverpool signed the likes of Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic to help make up for the sale of Suarez to Barcelona, the club were heavily linked with a move for Sanchez prior to his move to Arsenal.

And Neville believes the failure to complete the deal, one of a number of high profile moves the club have been unable to tie up in recent transfer windows, is central to Liverpool's current problems.

"Sanchez would have been an ideal replacement for Luis Suarez. Goals, tenacity, pressing from the front, loses the ball – it goes past him he runs back," Neville said on Sky Sports.

"Everything Liverpool would have wanted to replace Suarez, obviously you could argue he wouldn't score the goals Suarez would score, but I think he would have been the perfect replacement for Suarez.

"It's a real shame for Liverpool they didn't get him, but a massive plus for Arsenal."