Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson returned to the starting line-up against Paris Saint-Germain and has lauded Alexis Sanchez’s workrate after playing behind him in midweek.
There is no doubt over Sanchez’s trickery and quality on the pitch with his exceptional attacking and goal scoring technique. However, the England international believes it is the Chilean’s workrate that often goes unnoticed and deserves acknowledgement.
“People underestimate how hard he works sometimes because people always look at what he can do with the ball, but his workrate is exceptional,” said Jenkinson while speaking to Arsenal Player.
“That’s always nice to have in front of you as a full back, to have that protection.
“The last thing you want is a winger who’s staying upfield, hugging the touchline and not helping you out defensively.
“With Alexis, he helps you out defensively as well as and when he can. It was a pleasure to play with him as I haven’t played with him before.
“It’s a pleasure to play behind a player like that. On the ball he’s fantastic and people know what he offers and what he can bring, and just to see his workrate is great.”
The 27-year-old has been at the heart of Arsenal’s attack this season and has shown no signs of lethargy. Despite being on international duty recently, the Chile international showed little signs of fatigue against Manchester United last week and worked tirelessly for the entire 90 minutes.
This reflects the unique mindset Alexis possesses and Jenkinson believes it is what he has witnessed in other world-class players in the Gunners squad as well.
“It’s not just Alexis, though, this squad is riddled with world-class players,” the 24-year-old added.
“That’s the sort of environment I want to be in. I want to play with players of that character, of that stature, because I think it’ll bring the best out of me as a footballer.
“Who wouldn’t want to be on a football pitch with players like that?
“I’ve been watching the boys from the sidelines for what seems like an eternity now because I’d been out for so long, but to be back on the pitch and playing with the boys has been a long time coming and I’m just enjoying every moment of that now.”
Arsene Wenger tried out the combination of Olivier Giroud through the middle with Sanchez operating in an unfamiliar right wing position against PSG, and the same lineup could be utilized against AFC Bournemouth on Sunday.
Whether he’s leading the line or maurading down the left or right flank, Alexis continues to be a vital player for the club. His work ethic has been particularly refreshing to see as it clearly impacts and inspires the players around him. It’s that sort tenacity that can change a game.
Let’s hope he can continue to remain fit and firing as we enter a crucial run of fixtures.