Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez has heaped praise on his teammates, claiming that he was surprised by how good they were when he first arrived.
The Chile international was purchased from Barcelona last summer and became Arsene Wenger’s flagship signing of the summer, having been used to sharing a front-line with the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Andres Iniesta.
Such is his quality that it took him virtually no time at all to settle into the rhythm of the English game. His debut campaign has already seen him find the back of the net 22 times across all competitions and without his presence in the final third the Gunners might well have struggled to compete at the top end of the table.
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Interestingly though Sanchez, with all his experience playing with the world’s best from his time in La Liga, has gone on record as saying just how impressed he was when he first arrived in north London at the quality on show.
“When I arrived at the club I didn't know the players that well, but I was really surprised by everyone's quality,” he told Arsenal's official website.
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“I am not saying this just because it's my obligation to do it as a club player. Every Arsenal footballer has amazing quality. Being part of a team like this makes me very proud. I am willing to win many titles here.
“Santi Cazorla is a spectacular player. You never know whether he will kick the ball with his right or left foot. Also, he moves with short but quick strides, which is a remarkable trademark too.
“Although I knew about his quality, playing alongside him makes me very happy.”
Of course Sanchez seems to arrived during a good period for Arsenal. If Wenger can orchestrate a second-placed finish it will be a huge markup on most of the recent seasons. The Gunners have garnered a reputation for simply doing enough to qualify for the Champions League virtue of a top four finish, though this campaign seems to have given fans reason to believe their team can push for better.
Addition for the summer
Providing Wenger once more spends in order to accrue top transfer targets this summer Arsenal could well be ready to mount a serious challenge on the Premier League title next year. With the creative talents they have in the midfield, coupled with the fact that Olivier Giroud finally appears to have found his prolific boots in England, the only thing the Frenchman needs to worry about his keeping opponents at bay.
The emergence of Francis Coquelin has given Wenger a useful tool in the middle of the park when it comes to protecting his back four - although rumours insist he still wants to make a deal for Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin - and so it’s the back four that will likely be tinkered with come the transfer window.
Improving the defence?
Mathieu Debuchy’s injury problems should be behind him by next season and in any case Hector Bellerin is an astute backup, so the right-flank needn’t be touched. Meanwhile Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal look the part between them on the left, leaving just the centre to worry about.
Laurent Koscielny is good when fit but spends more than his fair share of time out injured, whilst question marks remain over the suitability of Per Mertesacker.
Last but not least there’s the issue of finding a new goalkeeper, which Wenger must do if he wants the fans to have complete confidence. Neither Wojciech Szczesny or David Ospina can boast to having been performing to the required standard this term, and if Arsenal are to compete across the board they need a number one in the mould of Thibaut Courtois or David de Gea.
Arsenal fans, just how good might your side be if one or two signings are made this summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.
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