It’s no secret that Chilean papers don’t really need a big reason to write about Alexis Sanchez. If there’s a story about their biggest star, they simply go for it.
This Friday, the subject is the player’s height. Since Manchester United teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic recently said he was impressed with how short the Chilean player is, the newspaper thought it would be a good idea to prove it with numbers and analysis from ex-players.
As written by El Mercurio, Sanchez is 1.69m. The newspaper only took attackers more prominent in the Premier League to say that among them, he’s one of the three shortest forwards, along with Pedro (1.69m) and Eden Hazard (1.70m).
What El Mercurio also does is to compare Sanchez to players from other positions to show the disadvantage he has when playing against them. The average height of Premier League defenders, for example, is 1.88m. He’s a lot shorter than his fellow forwards as well, who have an average height of 1.89m.
The newspaper spoke to a couple of ex-players on the matter, and they both said that Sanchez’s height could be a good thing for him.
“When I got to that league, the ball was kicked and it was very rare that the ball went through several feet in the midfield,” said Ysrael Zuniga, former Coventry City player. “The tall striker was sought or the second balls recovered. Then things changed and now there are beautiful duels, where players like Alexis are very favoured by their talent and speed.”
Ex-Chilean defender Fernando Astengo also had his say the Manchester United star’s height: “The speed and power of Sanchez, added to his stature, allows him to grab the grass better and ‘leave the defenders paying’ with the feints. The Chilean knows that he can’t go to the battle because he would lose, and that’s why he takes advantage of his intelligence to make diagonals or get between the lines. He knows how to make up for his lack of height very well.”