Arsene Wenger was full of praise for Alexis Sanchez following Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Southampton on Wednesday.
The victory came by virtue of Sanchez’ 89th minute strike when he swept home Aaron Ramsey’s cross following commotion in the box. It was the right place at the right time for Sanchez, a theme that seems to be popping up quite a bit this season.
“Alexis is one of the players who had to dig deep, but he still had such desire to fight,” the Arsenal boss said. “He always finds something special to get a goal.
“It’s difficult to find examples of someone who has settled at a club so quickly. He arrived in July and now it’s December. When you look at the number of goals he has and the impact he has on the team, it’s fabulous.”
It’s also astonishing. In only 18 matches for Sanchez he’s already netted 14 times, a feat that has Wenger struggling to recall a player who has adapted so quickly. The winner was a just reward for the Chilean, who spent the entire match working tirelessly for his side. He is by no means perfect, at times he gets dispossessed by opponents but you’d be hard-pressed to find a player with a greater work ethic in getting the ball back. In this sense, for many Arsenal fans Sanchez feels like the anti-Ozil.
Crucially, it is this type of effort that motivates teammates. “It was a bit hard to get going at the start because we’d given a lot against Borussia Dortmund and West Brom This was our third game in eight days,” Wenger noted. “We had to dig deep against a good team that is very well organised. We had to be patient and wait for our chances. We have the right attitude and a good solidarity in the team, a good focus, and that’s a good basis for us.”
Arsenal faces Stoke City next Saturday at the Britannia.