Edu hails Arsenal’s Sanchez as one of world’s top five players

Arsenal invincible Edu is convinced Alexis Sanchez has elevated himself into the world’s top-five players this season with a series of show-stopping performances for the Gunners.

Chile international Sanchez, who moved from Barcelona in the summer, has already scored 18 goals this season and is now firmly the Gunners’ talisman as they battle it out for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Edu, who won 15 international caps for Brazil between 2004 and 2005, believes Sanchez is now Arsenal’s best player and is the key to the Gunners experiencing a successful end to the season having racked up a seventh-straight home league win against Everton on Sunday.

“At the moment he is doing fantastically well for Arsenal – he is arguably their best player of the season so far,” said Edu.

“Many people say that he is one of the current top five players in the world in the position he plays in.

“He was also very good at Barcelona last season and that gave him great experience by playing for such a large club. He is a very important player for Arsenal.

“He has adapted very well to English football but that doesn’t surprise me, given his talent. English football is a different style of football, especially if you contrast it with Barcelona’s unique style. He is very strong player too which surprises many people.

“I don’t like to compare players from the past with current players as it depends on the moment that they are playing in, both internationally and at club level.

“It would be difficult to compare the top players I played with and Alexis Sanchez. But Sanchez is doing very well and he is still young and will develop into becoming an even better player.”

Edu also dismissed recent criticism of Arsenal manager Wenger following the club’s shock 3-1 loss to Monaco in the Champions League and highlighted his ability to identify young players and give them an opportunity.

“Arsene Wenger was very important in my career and he is wonderful coach,” added Edu. “He is so important to Arsenal and the club’s history.

“He has been there for so long at one club and he is a very clever, nice person and an unbelievable coach. I have much respect for Wenger.

“Arsenal and Arsene Wenger in particular, have always tried to sign young players. This is Wenger’s philosophy for the club.

“Many players come from clubs with great potential and the philosophy of the club is finding these players and developing them further too hopefully break into the first team.

“Sometimes you expect the players to explode onto the scene but sometimes they don’t – that’s just how it goes.”

Meanwhile, Edu has issued a warning to Brazil boss Dunga to expect a serious test against fellow South Americans Chile at the Emirates Stadium in March when they come face-to-face with one of the world’s best attacking players – Sanchez.

The friendly in North London on March 29 will take on extra significance as Brazil secured a dramatic penalty shootout win against Chile to reach the last eight at the 2014 World Cup last summer and set up an all-South American quarter-final against Colombia.

As well as key World Cup qualifiers, Brazil will travel to Chile in July for the Copa America and Edu insists it’s crucial for Dunga’s men to test themselves against the best in North London in March.

“It will be great to play against another South American side like Chile and it will be a great test to see how good this Brazil side is against them,” he added.

“The 7-1 World Cup defeat to Germany wasn’t great for the image of Brazilian football. Nobody could have imagined such a result was possible but maybe good things come from bad results.

“This shows everyone where we are and recognise that we are not the best and it will inspire our big players to kick on. If you lose like we did to Germany, people say it’s a disaster but it means that we can change things.

“The history of Brazilian football is so vast and there is so much respect for it but we need to look at now. We have a Copa America in Chile coming up and now are the time to change to team, with new ideas of how to play.”

Edu is relishing the opportunity to see Arsenal striker Sanchez go up against his former Barcelona team-mate Neymar during the Brazil versus Chile clash at the Emirates Stadium.

Although admitting both are world class talents; Edu, who is now the director of football at former club Corinthians, believes compatriot Neymar presently has the edge in the mouthwatering head-to-head.

“It will be great to see these players going up against one another,” added Edu. “Both players are supremely talented and it will be a joy to watch for the fans and spectators.

“Neymar, in my opinion, is one of the best players in the world at this present moment but Sanchez is a very good player, only slightly less talented than Neymar but still amazing.

“It will be great to watch the Brazil versus Chile game just for those two players alone but having said that, both sides have a lot of talent within the teams.”

Brazil v Chile is on March 29 at 3pm at the Emirates Stadium in London. Tickets are still available from £30 Adults/£15 Concessions at

Image courtesy of Footy Matters via YouTube, with thanks

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