Arsene Wenger: Why Alexis Sanchez really wanted to join Arsenal

Arsene Wenger lifts the lid on Alexis Sanchez's transfer to Arsenal from Barcelona last summer

Arsene Wenger has lifted the lid on why he believes Alexis Sanchez has enjoyed such an electric start to his Arsenal career.

The Chile international has been one of the Premier League’s standout performers since his £35m transfer to the north London club from Barcelona last summer.

He has already scored 18 goals in all competitions for the north London side this term and has also notched up seven assists for his team-mates in the Premier League.

Sanchez is reported to have had the chance to move to Liverpool last summer, but the Chilean forward opted for a switch to Emirates Stadium.

Alexis had a few options and he chose us because he felt that’s where he wanted to go

Arsene Wenger

And Arsenal boss Wenger believes that a strong desire to play for the Gunners was behind his decision to move to the north London club.

Speaking to Arsenal Magazine, Wenger said: “Alexis has played in Italy, in Spain and he moved clubs – that of course helps. The second part is that the move is a reward for what he really wanted.

“Alexis had a few options and he chose us because he felt that’s where he wanted to go. Sometimes a player moves somewhere and it’s not the choice that he deeply wanted. In his case, I think he really wanted to join us.

“On the pitch, the player has his needs. I felt that he came into a team that plays in an [attacking] way, where he can express his talent with freedom. It works out well for him. That helps.

“After, another step is that a team welcomes you with the values that you rate, and that in some parts of the team, you can feel at home when you need it sometimes.

“That means there are people inside the squad with a similar culture. For example we have plenty of Spanish-speaking people and I believe that helps to integrate people well.”

Arsenal’s next game is a trip to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. The Gunners are currently fifth in the Premier League table.

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