Alexis Sanchez has admitted a struggle to adapt his game to the rigours of Premier League football but is enjoying life with Arsenal.
The Chile international has hit the ground running since arriving at the Emirates Stadium this summer. Arsene Wenger forked out a reported £35 million to sign him from Barcelona and 12 goals later it is looking like a wise investment.
However, it has not been all plain sailing for Sanchez. It was reported in September that Wenger dropped the 25-year-old because he was disrupting Arsenal's style of football.
“This football [in England] is hard, very hard. It’s a struggle to adapt."
Struggle to adapt
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was preferred for the Premier League games against Aston Villa and Tottenham while Sanchez was drilled in training on how to play the Arsenal way. Sanchez admits adapting is a struggle but is up for the challenge.
Speaking to Spanish newspaper AS, Sanchez said: “This football [in England] is hard, very hard. It’s a struggle to adapt. Of all the leagues in which I have played, this is the most complicated. I like the challenge, but it’s not easy.”
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If Sanchez is struggling, Arsenal's rivals should worry what the forward can do when he is thriving. He has scored eight goals in nine Premier League starts and three goals in the Champions League campaign.
Room for improvement
But Sanchez is not satisfied. In fact he says his need to improve should be clear for all to see.
He said: “Clearly I need to improve and that is what I say in the dressing room: I could dwell a little less on the ball, use one-touch play to facilitate counterattacks. That is vital. I must learn that because the rapid transitions are key in this league and with this team.
Already a key player for the Gunners, there were reports from his native Chile that Sanchez was already growing disillusioned with the lack of support from his new team-mates. Most notably, he was struggling to see how Mesut Ozil was contributing to the team.
"Sometimes I stop to look my teammates in practice and I realize that I’m surrounded by a lot of quality."
Arsenal ready to win titles
Unsurprisingly, those reports appear wide of the mark. Sanchez says that he has been impressed with the high quality of Arsenal's training sessions thus far and thinks the squad has enough talent to win major trophies.
“Now that I’m here, sometimes I stop to look my teammates in practice and I realize that I’m surrounded by a lot of quality. I have been impressed by the attitude and talent. I know that with this group we can win many titles in the coming years. I’m convinced.”