On the 10th of July, Arsenal announced the marquee signing of Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez. The Gunners acquired the services of the Chilean by paying around £30million and Sanchez is set to earn wages of £140,000 per week. He completed the medical in London and agreed a four year contract with an option of a further 12 months. The package will put him on par with Arsenal’s current top earner, Mesut Ozil.
The signing of Alexis Sanchez comes at a vital time as Arsenal later unveiled the new kits supplied by Puma. Season 2014/15 was touted as the season when Arsenal would go big and Wenger has shown his intent of taking this bunch of players to the glory after winning the FA Cup, concluding 9 years of wait for silverware.
This is the season when new kit deal kicks in, contract of the important players are extended, no star leaves the Emirates and with the financial constraints loosening, Arsenal once again will compete with Europe’s elite.
Arsene Wenger had a chance to sign ex Gunner Cesc Fabregas but he passed on the opportunity as the Spaniard signed for Chelsea. After that, Wenger set sights on another Nou Camp player in the form of Alexis Sanchez. Barcelona was considering the option of bringing in Liverpool’s forward Luis Suarez and hence Sanchez was available for transfer.
Wenger meanwhile, was in Brazil, working for French channel TF1 when Alexis Sanchez was representing Chile in the FIFA World Cup 2014. He was linked with a move back to Italy with Juventus eager to sign and was also linked with a move to Liverpool in a player swap deal for Suarez. But a quick meeting between Sanchez & Wenger changed the whole plot. Arsenal boss convinced Barcelona forward to pick Gunners ahead of Anfield and the Old Lady of Turin and in a matter of time, the deal was negotiated and without much drama the player was seen in Arsenal’s new kit.
Here are some of the facts of Alexis Sanchez’s career:
- Date of Birth: 19 December 1988
- Place of Birth: Tocopilla, Chille
- Height: 5 ft 7 in
- Major Honours: With Barcelona: La Liga (2012–13), Copa del Rey (2011–12), Supercopa de España (2011, 2013), UEFA Super Cup (2011), FIFA Club World Cup (2011), With Chile: Third Place, FIFA U-20 World Cup (2007)
- Individual Honours: Serie A Player of the Month (February 2011), FIFA Most Promising Youngster of 2011.
- For Udinese: 21 Goals in 112 appearances.
- For Barcelona: 47 Goals in 147 appearances.
- For Chile National Team: 24 Goals in 71 appearances.
- With 19 goals from 61 shots, Alexis Sanchez’s conversion rate was the highest in La Liga 2013/14.
Alexis Sanchez’s career moments in chronological order of occurrence:
- 05 July 2007: Scores for Chile vs. the then African Youth Champions Congo in the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2007 Canada.
- 07 September 2007: Scores his first goal for the Chilean National Team vs. Switzerland in an International Friendly.
- 19 October 2008: Scores his first goal for Udinese Calcio vs. Lecce in Serie A.
- 27 February 2011: Sanchez scores 4 of 7 goals as Udinese defeat Palermo.
- 13 March 2011: Scores last goal for The Bianconeri vs. Cagliari in Serie A.
- 20 July 2011: Barcelona announces signing of Sanchez for $43 million as he becomes the most expensive transfer in Chilean football history.
- 29 August 2011: Scores first goal of his Barcelona career as his side beat Villareal 5-0 in La Liga.
- 10 December 2011: Scores the equaliser vs. Real Madrid as Barcelona goes on to win the game 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
- 26 October 2013: Alexis scores the winning goal as Barcelona beat their arch rivals Real Madrid 2–1 at Camp Nou in the first El Classico fixture of the 2013/14 La Liga season.
- 5 January 2014: Sanchez scores his first hat-trick for Barcelona in a 4–0 win against Elche CF.
- 17 May 2014: Scores his last goal for the Catalan Giants vs. Atlético Madrid in the last game of La Liga.
- 28 June 2014: Scores for Chilean National Team vs. Brazil in Round of 16, FIFA World Cup 2014.
- 28 June 2014: Misses the penalty kick as Chile are eliminated from the FIFA World Cup 2014.
- 10 July 2014: Arsenal announces the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona for £35 million.