Arsene Wenger claims Alexis Sanchez really shocked him when he first the Chilean play, and says the 27-year-old’s energy levels “hit me straight in the face”, as reported by Arsenal.com.
The Frenchman first saw Alexis when he was in Serie A, plying his trade with Italian side Udinese. He highlighted the intensity the South American star showed, a trait he retains to this day.
Alexis has improved massively since his days in Italy, spending time at Barcelona honing his abilities. We are now lucky enough to have the talismanic forward at Arsenal, and Wenger clearly has a massive amount of respect for his qualities.
“It was playing for Udinese [that I first spotted him],” Wenger said.
“He was very dynamic, very direct and very straight to the point.
“He was one of these players where his energy and the intensity of his energy level hits you straight in the face.
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“It is strange because he catches your eye with his energy and level of commitment he puts into everything he does and that is what remained with me.”
Alexis’ energy is totally contagious, and the rest of the team step up their game when he’s on the pitch. We’ve been without him for quite some time this season, but he’s finally back and looked truly up for it when he came on as a substitute against Chelsea.
Wenger often scouts players for a long time before signing them, and has frequently identified top talent, only to be beaten to the punch by his rivals. Alexis was obviously lured by the temptation of playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world in Barcelona, but now seems incredibly happy in north London and looks capable of helping us to more silverware this season.
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An injury plagued Arsenal side have remained competitive in the absence of key players, but we’re close to getting back to full strength, and can hopefully push to retake the summit of the Premier League.