The acquisition of Alexis Sanchez last summer has brought far more to the side than goals. With 18 to his name in all competitions, plus nine assists it seems strange saying that, but he has injected believe and passion back into this Arsenal side.
That’s not to say the Gunners have lacked a fighting spirit, because we’ve seen it in them over the past couple seasons with the FA Cup comeback (and the Cup run in general), wins over Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund and the massive victory over Bayern Munich in 2012/13.
It’s easy to forget our incredible away record during last season that led us to the top of the table. The platform has been there, we just needed a few finishing touches.
It is with individual players that you can see Alexis’ mentality running off the most. Players such as Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have enjoyed stellar campaigns, much of which has been based off of consistent graft for the team. Tracking back then bundling forward.
It’s brilliant for the youth players too. He’s the perfect role model with the type of winning mentality that is infectious. The never-say-die attitude has enabled him to be rewarded on several occasions this season, harrying down defenders to force mistakes.
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It is that kind of determination that has helped Arsenal push towards stepping up to the next level and it has been rubbing off on his fellow team mates.
Did you know during his days at Udinese and Barcelona he used to drive the streets of his home town in a open top truck and hand out Christmas presents during his winter break? What a lad.
Arsenal desperately need the Chilean star back in the mix this weekend. Yes we overcame an incredibly average Aston Villa without him, but we need the forward’s inspiration on the pitch, not to mention his sheer class in front of goal.