When rumours first surfaced that Alexis Sanchez might be Arsenal-bound, Twitter and other social media blew up with excitement.
Gunners fans were beside themselves that Barcelona’s Chilean international might swap a utopian existence in Catalonia for a new challenge in London.
However, their potential new-found joy was being tempered by the experience of another high-profile La Liga transfer in Mesut Ozil. The German was greeted with wild acclaim upon his arrival but it soon became clear that this World Cup winner needed to up his work-rate to appease team-mates and fans alike.
He hasn’t really managed it to this point, but lack of work ethic isn’t really an accusation that can be levelled at Sanchez.
His time spent in the Blaugrana was peppered not only with performances of great skill, but also of simple hard graft. The sort of performances that every supporter can identify with.
Fans of most football teams are generally forgiving of mistakes etc. as long as there is application and lots of it. “Sweat on the shirt” for want of a better phrase.
You could never accuse Sanchez of not earning his keep and his skill set was always going to be ideally suited to the English game. Barca’s loss was very much Arsenal’s gain, and at £25 million Arsene Wenger got himself a bargain.
If anything, the squad were as excited as the fans with Carl Jenkinson noting via Arsenal.com per Yahoo/Eurosport:
“He is world class and they’re the sort of players you want to see at the club. The squad are buzzing as much as the fans, because if you’re going to push on as a club and really compete for things, you need to sign top players.
After a relatively slow start, Sanchez has now bedded down into the side well.
Four goals, two assists and one man-of-the-match performance in five full 90 minutes per WhoScored isn’t a bad way to open your career in your new surroundings.
Quick, direct and dynamic, unlike Theo Walcott for example, Sanchez is equally at home patrolling the channels as he is being a target man centrally.
Such versatility is manna from heaven for Arsene Wenger, the Chilean equally adept in either position so therefore giving the Frenchman a unique set of options when necessary.
His stunning volley against Manchester City, voted Arsenal’s goal of the month for September, is ample evidence of the player’s finishing prowess, noted during his time at Barca.
No one trick pony this, Arsenal fans should be encouraged by what they’ve seen already.
And rest assured there is more, much more, to come.