The Argentina international feels that the Chilean winger has fit in well at the Blaugrana, despite being plagued by physical problems in his first season at Camp NouLionel Messi has praised the way Alexis Sanchez adapted to his new surroundings at Barcelona and believes the Chile international could have contributed more to the team last season had he not had bad luck with injuries.
The 23-year-old joined the Catalan giants from Udinese in the summer of 2011, and made 41 appearances in all competitions for his new club despite enduring a series of muscle injuries. And Messi is hoping that Alexis will play an even bigger role for the team this term.
"It is not easy to adapt to new surroundings as an outsider. All of a sudden, he had new team-mates and a new playing style to get used to. I think he did a good job," Messi was quoted as saying by Terra Chile.
"He has had some bad luck with a number of injuries that kept him on the sidelines for a number of games, so hopefully he'll have more luck next season.
"He's a very sympathetic guy, who has adapted very well to all the new people surrounding him, and has picked up on Barcelona's specific style of play."
Alexis netted 11 goals in 25 Liga appearances for Barcelona in 2011-12.