By now, all Barcelona and Arsenal supporters should recognise the limitless bundle of Chilean energy that is Alexis Sánchez.
Ever since he first garnered international recognition playing for Italian side Udinese, Alexis has gained the reputation of being one of the hardest workers on a football pitch with what appeared to be a limitless supply of stamina to back.
It could easily be said that Alexis gained this trait and incredible work ethic due to his poor upbringing and his family’s reliance on his talents to support them. This has gone a long way for the little Chilean as all of his hard work has paid off in a successful (and lucrative) stint at Barcelona followed by a big money move to north London to become the focal point of a very potent Arsenal offense.
Not only have the supporters been quick to notice Alexis’ boundless energy but his teammates and manager alike have been clueing in on the potential that the Chilean, in fact, does not know what being tired means.
Arsenal teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was once quoted as saying that: “There is no rest for him. On recovery days he wants to be playing and he is not happy if he is not allowed to play the game at the end,” with Theo Walcott echoing this notion by stating: “That’s how much he loves football. All the guys have told him he needs to chill out because, at Christmas when all the fixtures come along, it’s going to catch up with you.”
Such is Alexis’ dedication to the game that he has on occasion, refused rest days and has ignored the advice of teammates regarding holding back for a tough stretch of football. The natural question has then come to the forefront of most Arsenal fans regarding Alexis: how much energy does he truly have?
Luckily (or potentially unlucky for Arsenal fans), those limits may truly be tested in this offseason with the 2015 Copa América tournament coming up. This won’t be Alexis’ first but second offseason in a row which will be filled by a competitive national tournament as the 2014 summer break saw Chile compete in the World Cup hosted in Brazil.
Despite the World Cup, Alexis played a very full pre-season with Arsenal and then went to rack up 42 appearances for the Gunners during the 2014/15 season (with a 43 full appearances expected at tonight’s FA Cup Final).
These were full appearances too (as he averaged over 84 minutes of football a game over these 42 appearances) unlike that of the appearances he made for Barcelona where he would frequently scrape minutes off the bench for rotation.
The one thing that all Arsenal fans can be sure of is that Alexis will be incredibly happy to be able to get the chance to play all of this football. Whether that can keep the quality of his performances from slipping or the potential for injuries accumulating down is yet to be seen heading into the 2015/16 season but you can be sure that Alexis will arrive back in North London raring to go.
Fingers are crossed that he does not run himself into the ground, however, from what we have seen thus far, that may just be impossible.