FFT's Spanish expert Tim Stannard on the Gunners' new boy...
If you were not blessed with the gift of X-Ray vision and lacked the ability to look through the shirts of footballers, you’d have thought that Alexis Sánchez was a typical Barcelona forward: small, featherweight and a bit flimsy. Although on saying that, LLL is quite sure that Andrés Iniesta could still put the blog into the stands with a shove. Indeed, even Bojan could.
But should you ever be able to gaze upon the body of the Chilean striker, you will see the compact, insanely muscular frame of a boxer. Alexis is a footballer that can hold off an army of centre-backs if need be, despite being 5ft 7in.
Even the face of the forward has the look of someone that could take a punch or two without feeling it. Very Bruce Willis in The Last Boy Scout.
So leaping to the stereotype of the Premier League, the former Udinese man is ripe for English football, where a decent shoulder barge is not met with a red card and ladies fainting in the front row as is the case in La Liga.
Arsenal have not brought in a £35 million Catalan cast-off. Barça were more than happy to keep the footballer who was a relative bright spot in a fairly glum season knocking in 19 league goals. However, the money was needed to fund the very expensive Luis Suárez transfer from Liverpool, and also make more wiggle room for Pedro, a footballer that was beginning to feel a tad left-out.
Alongside Mesut Özil, Alexis is going to make the Arsenal forward line very hard to handle indeed. Sánchez is mobile, direct - although can be a bit of ball-hogger - and is a fine finisher.
But what he really brings to the table is something that Arsene Wenger was keen to emphasise, and that’s power. Alexis is not so much a pocket-rocket but a pint-sized nuclear power plant.
The asking price for the forward is a bit pricey, but it could be worth the investment, as Arsenal continue to look to La Liga for inspiration.