Alexis Sanchez has experienced a veritable goalscoring renaissance of late, netting five times in the last eight league matches and doubling his total for the season.
His recent run of form may quiet some of the rumors of a summer departure from the Camp Nou, but if Tito Vilanova has his priorities in order, Sanchez will be on his way nevertheless.
Barcelona have all but won La Liga, but if they hope to recapture their magical European dominance of seasons past, they will surely need reinforcements in attack. This year's side lacks the David Villas and Pedros of seasons past, and despite the ever-sensational form of Lionel Messi, it has cost them.
Alexis is by all accounts a terrifically talented footballer, and he hasn't had a woeful season by any stretch. But he's had his chances to step into the team and make a real difference. He has, by and large, failed to do so with any sort of consistency.
With just 10 goals all season in over 40 games—and some nervy passing to boot—Alexis just hasn't quite looked comfortable in the Blaugrana shirt. He's missed scores of chances, passed up plenty more and, in general, has failed to threaten oppositions' last lines of defense in the manner of a more traditional winger.
It might be time for Alexis to make way for a fresh face, someone who can inject new life and energy into the Barca attack.
Why single out Sanchez when Pedro has had an equally disappointing season? Why look to replace him when Villa looks set to leave the Camp Nou anyway?
And Pedro? It's hard to see Vilanova selling the little Spaniard he's put so much trust in, through and through. Pedro has garnered little interest from other clubs and is much less marketable than Alexis as well.
Sanchez is a big, strong lad, and as such, he could fetch a pretty penny from some interested parties in any of Europe's other leagues. Pedro, needless to say, doesn't have the same physical presence, and his talents may be more uniquely suited to Barcelona's style of play.
At any rate, with the impending arrival of attacking reinforcements in some form or another, Sanchez may see the writing on the wall and elect to make his career elsewhere. He's had some memorable moments for Barcelona, but not enough to truly cement his place in the team.
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