Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard are both world class stars, but who is better? Let’s have a look…
Alexis Sanchez has bagged 13 league goals this season in what has been a ferocious first season for Arsenal, after his £32 million move last summer. The Chilean has been a goal machine, winning Arsenal games with his brilliance in front of goal. His finishing is outstanding, and Sanchez will be looking to reach the 20 goal mark before the Premier League season has finished.
In comparison, Eden Hazard has also had a good goal scoring season so far, netting 10 times this campaign. The Chelsea star has been forced to play second fiddle in front of goal due to the arrival of Diego Costa, but the Belgian is still on course to reach his tally of 14 from last season.
With Sanchez currently leading Hazard on the goal scoring front (and when also considering that two of Hazard’s goals have come from the penalty spot), the Chilean win’s this category and takes the lead.
Alexis Sanchez 1-0 Eden Hazard.
Creativity is an interesting area, as both are very creative players with great innovation, with their tricks and flicks on show every week. Both players also like to go inside and drop into midfield to probe opposition defences, and do so very successfully, but what do the stats say?
Sanchez has grabbed seven assists so far this season, to Hazard’s six. The Chilean may edge it on assists, but the other statistics are where the Belgian comes into his own.
Part of a very polished and well put together attacking unit, Hazard contributes in more ways than just being on the end of Chelsea’s slick moves. The Chelsea man has completed 65 key passes to Sanchez’s 54, whilst completing almost double the amount of passes (1255 to 737) than Sanchez. Hazard also has interestingly made almost 200 more forward passes than Sanchez this season, displaying his attacking intent. It’s also worth noting that Hazard’s pass completion (88%) is far superior to Sanchez’s (77%).
Sanchez may have more assists, but Hazard is no doubt the more effective, creative player, and therefore equalises.
Alexis Sanchez 1-1 Eden Hazard.
Both players are involved in countless duels every week. Both players love taking on, and beating their fullback, leaving them on their backsides. It’s a huge part of both their games, but who is better at beating their man?
Alexis Sanchez has completed 83 take-ons at a success rate of 56% so far this season, with his delightful drop of a shoulder. His trademark skill that he embarrasses defenders with every week is sublime. As the ball is running out of play Sanchez slows down and does a step over as he fakes to go one way, drops a shoulder and flicks the ball the opposite way with the outside of his boot, leaving the defender for dead. You all know what I’m talking about.
However, Eden Hazard’s stats are far more impressive. The Belgian loves a drop of the shoulder, with his burst of acceleration giving defenders no chance. Hazard has managed to complete a mammoth 119 take-ons this season at a 63% success rate. Extremely impressive.
The Belgian winger has also suffered the most fouls in the Premier League this season, being upended 75 times to Sanchez’s 52 times, showing himself to be a bigger terror to defences.
Sorry Sanchez, you’re good, but Hazard is better. Hazard takes the lead.
Alexis Sanchez 1-2 Eden Hazard.
This category is more cut and dry.
Alexis Sanchez’s work rate is next to none. He is an animal. There are rumours that he refuses to take rest days and trains anyway, and it’s no surprise, the man works the hardest of any player in the Arsenal team. He has unbelievable stamina and isn’t afraid to get stuck in with the dirty side of the game, committing 34 fouls whilst tracking back this season.
Eden Hazard works harder under Jose Mourinho than he had done in previous years, but the Belgian is no-where near Sanchez in terms of work rate. Sanchez equalises.
Alexis Sanchez 2-2 Eden Hazard.
Importance and versatility
Sanchez is certainly the more important to his team. Arsenal need the Chilean firing on all cylinders if they are to secure a top four place.
However, Hazard is also of huge importance to Chelsea in their hunt for the title. Would Hazard have better stats if he played in a worse team, like Sanchez is? That’s very much up for debate, but it does seem that Sanchez is more of a key player for Arsenal than Hazard is for Chelsea, purely due to the fact Chelsea have more quality players.
Sanchez is also the more versatile player, able to play anywhere in the ‘front four’, on either wing, behind the striker or upfront. He could probably do a job at left-back if you asked him to.
Hazard on the other hand is a left sided midfielder, and not much more. He could no doubt play centrally, but he just doesn’t get the chance.
Unfortunately for Hazard, he does seem to be less important to his team when compared to Sanchez, and with Sanchez’s versatility being far better, the Chilean takes the lead.
Alexis Sanchez 3-2 Eden Hazard.
So who is better?
Alexis Sanchez has won the comparison here, but no doubt Chelsea fans will have a point to argue. Eden Hazard is a world class star, just as Sanchez is, and comparisons between the two will go on until one of them leaves the Premier League.
One thing is for sure, having them both in one team would be outstanding, with Hazard’s creativity on one wing, and Sanchez’s work rate and goal scoring prowess on the other, defenders would be having nightmares.
Thanks for reading.
Who do you think is better? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @LukeHastings1.