Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy claims Arsenal can win the title in the 2016/17 season if their star player Alexis Sanchez can emulate Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy and Thierry Henry by scoring 20 plus goals in the league.
The former Dutch international and the north London club's legend were instrumental — for both United and Arsenal respectively — in their side's title winning campaigns during their time at the club. Arsene Wenger has preferred to play the Chilean international as the main man to lead the Emirates club's attack, ahead of Olivier Giroud.
Sanchez has impressed so far in that position, scoring four goals and registering two assists from seven league matches. Murphy, who has played in the Premier League in the past, believes the Gunners' hope of winning the title relies on the former Barcelona forward and also stressed the importance to keep the attacker fit for the entire campaign.
"You generally need those 20 goals from your forward if you're going to win it. Look at the years when Arsenal and Manchester United dominated. Season after season, Thierry Henry and Ruud van Nistelrooy would achieve that target and more," Murphy told the Evening Standard.
"Alexis Sanchez is one of my very favourite players in the Premier League — but can he be the 20-goal-a-season striker Arsenal need to win the title? Sanchez scored 16 League goals in his first season, 13 in his second. Now he is playing in a central-striking role, rather than starting wide.
"His work ethic is fantastic — not all players of that talent work as hard as he does — but maybe Arsenal need him to stay high up the pitch, even when they are under the cosh."
"If they can persuade him to concentrate on banging in the goals, and if Sanchez can stay fit, then maybe things will be different for Arsenal this year. If he goes through the season injury-free, he can be the difference between them finishing third or fourth, and finishing top. He is their star man."