Many Gunners fans will surely have feared that they’d never again see the Chilean superstar turn out for Arsene Wenger’s side again following incessant rumours linking him with a move to Manchester City during the summer.
Indeed, had Thomas Lemar agreed to move to the Emirates Stadium on transfer deadline day, it may be that the South American attacker would have been taking part in Manchester City’s rout of Watford on Saturday, rather than preparing for the Gunners’ showdown with Chelsea on Sunday.
While Sanchez will surely be desperate to assert himself upon his return to the top flight, the former Barcelona man has already demonstrated his class this week, when he found the net for Arsenal as the London heavyweights came from behind to beat FC Koln on Thursday.
Surprisingly, the goal was Alexis’s first in the Europa League, despite having previously featured in the competition on nine occasions for Udinese.
Intriguingly, his strike ensures he joins an elite ground of Arsenal players—including Nigeria great Nwankwo Kanu—who have struck in both the Champions League and the Europa League/Uefa Cup.
According to Opta, Sanchez and Kanu are two of only eight Arsenal players to have found the net in both of Europe’s major continental competitions.
As well as the duo, Lee Dixon, Marc Overmars, Ray Parlour, Freddie Ljungberg, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry all also netted in both the UEL and the UCL during their careers.
During Kanu’s six seasons at Arsenal, he competed in Europe on five occasions—amassing 53 appearances and scoring six goals.
In fact, the Super Eagles legend netted in both the Champions League and the Uefa Cup during his first Arsenal career, scoring against Barcelona in the UCL group stage, and then netted against Deportivo La Coruna and Racing Club de Lens after the Gunners dropped into the secondary competition.
While Kanu never achieved continental success under Wenger, he was a Champions League winner with Ajax in 1995, and also claimed the Uefa Cup with Internazionale three years later.