Arsenal midfielder hails the arrival of ‘fighter’ Alexis Sánchez

Mikel Arteta backs Alexis Sánchez to add some much-needed pace and firepower to Arsenal's attack next season

Mikel Arteta is backing Alexis Sánchez to add some much-needed pace and firepower to Arsenal’s attack next season.

The Gunners completed the signing of the Chile international from Barcelona for a fee of around £35m on Thursday after weeks of speculation linking him with a move to north London.

The north Londoners heavily relied upon Olivier Giroud up front last season, with the Frenchman scoring 16 league goals in 36 games.

And Arteta feels that the 25-year-old forward’s arrival signals a statement of intent by Arsenal ahead of next season.

“He’s the type of player we were looking for,” said Arteta.

“At some stage [last season] we didn’t have that pace up front with the injuries we had, but this year we will. We will be a threat in behind teams and he’ll give us another option.

“He’s a character, too. He’s a fighter and very ambitious. I think he’s the type of player that the Arsenal fans will really like.

“It is a very good statement to show where we are going. I think we are going in the right direction, the club is ambitious, the directors are ambitious and we are going to fight for big aims.”

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