Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez has insisted that he loves the ultra-competitive nature of life in the Premier League, because unlike in La Liga every single game is a battle and a potential banana skin.
Sanchez has made adapting to life in England look a doddle during his first season with the Gunners, scoring 19 goals in all competitions to more than justify a £35m price tag that saw him swap Barcelona for North London last summer.
The 26-year-old is adamant that he can aim to take his game to another level in the Premier League, because unlike his spell at Barca there's no chance to put the handbrake on against the sides fighting against relegation.
Sanchez is a happy man
In an interview with the Evening Standard the Chilean superstar waxed lyrical about life in England, declaring: “I am well adapted to the country and the league. I must keep on learning, though. I want to expand my knowledge of English football in general and Arsenal and my team-mates in particular, but overall I love this league.
"At the end of the day, football was invented in this country, right? I live where football was invented. That makes me really happy. Ever since I started watching Premier League I found English football very appealing. I hope to keep on learning from my team-mates and keep on improving day after day. That’s what I am here for."
Premier League offers unique challenges
“Here in the Premier League you can get beaten 3-0 by a team laying at the bottom of the table. It is not an unusual thing in English football. That is why any prediction ahead of the game may be very deceptive.
“Regardless of how good or bad the team you play against is, you can feel that there’s a huge crowd and pressure everywhere you go. I really like that.
“When I played for Barcelona I knew that some home games were going to be easier than some others as the team had plenty of confidence. That confident mentality helped Barcelona players win games.
“However, a confident mentality may not be enough when it comes to the Premier League. Your opponent is going to run and fight endlessly, regardless of your confidence levels.”
Sanchez is better off with Arsenal
One look at Barca's 6-1 win over Rayo Vallecano last weekend gives you a perfect example of what Sanchez is referring to.
Barca had the game wrapped up well before half-time and do so on a regular basis at the Camp Nou when the smaller teams in Spain come calling.
Sanchez is sampling a very different experience in England and clearly benefitting from it, with his all-action style proving a huge hit with Arsenal fans even if it was under-appreciated in La Liga.
Arsenal will need to deliver success for Sanchez to stay long-term, but its clear that he has all the makings of a Gunners great if a tremendous first season under Wenger is anything to go by.
Wenger has shown already that Sanchez is close to irreplaceable, resting a star of last summer's World Cup on just one occasion in the league this season against Aston Villa.
Next summer's Copa America will give Wenger a headache over how best to manage Sanchez's workload moving forward, but if any Arsenal player can deal with the demands of international tournaments in back-to-back years its probably him.
Arsenal fans, how much have you been impressed by Sanchez this season? Is he already the club's most important player? Let us know by having your say in the comment box below!
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