Wenger: Sanchez's pace will give Arsenal an extra dimension

The Chile international joined the Gunners from Barcelona in a £32 million deal earlier this summer and is set to be deployed as a central striker at the Emirates
Arsene Wenger believes Alexis Sanchez's electric pace will add a new dimension to Arsenal's attack.

The Gunners spent £32m to acquire the Chile international from Barcelona earlier this summer, with the star set to make his debut in the pre-season Emirates Cup tournament.

Wenger admits Arsenal struggled when Theo Walcott sustained a season-ending injury in January and so was keen to recruit a player with similar attributes.
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And he is keen to see how the 25-year-old adapts to Premier League life, as the Gunners seek to finally mount a sustained title challenge in 2014-15.

"I love pace and when we lost Walcott we suffered a little bit, yes, on that front," Wenger is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.

"So I took him because he is a player who has the qualities of Walcott, he goes behind the defenders off the ball.

"And with the quality of his runs he can be very important for us. I think he will give us an extra dimension, in terms of quality and threat. And I hope I’m right."

Despite playing primarily as a winger for Barcelona, Alexis is set to be deployed as a striker at the Emirates and Wenger is confident he will shine in the role, given that he has charted his development since his breakthrough at Udinese in 2006.

"He first came on my radar when he played at Udinese and then afterwards, when he went to Barcelona,” he added.

"He is a striker. He’s a good finisher, who made a great impression in Italy. I saw him there and he was really outstanding.

"It was a bit more difficult for him at Barcelona but it’s like you can see with Neymar at that club, there you have Messi.

"When you see Neymar with Brazil and Neymar with Barcelona he’s not the same.

"I like the fact Sanchez can play left, right, up front and that’s why I went for him."