Alexis number 7
Alexis number 7

Alexis

Explosive forward Alexis proved his undoubted worth to Arsenal again last season.

The Chile international followed up his highly impressive debut season with the Gunners by continuing to terrorise defences, both in the Premier League and on the continent.

Alexis Profile

Born December 19, 1988
Tocopilla, Chile
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 7
Previous Club(s) Cobreloa, Colo-Colo, River Plate, Udinese, Barcelona

The all-action, energetic front man, who can play wide or in a more central attacking position, claimed his first hat-trick for the club during the 5-2 win at Leicester in September. It made him the first player to score trebles in each of the top leagues in England, Spain and Italy.

A hamstring injury ruled him out of action for two months during the winter, but he returned to goalscoring form during the run-in, netting five times in four games in April.

Alexis (full name Alexis Alejandro Sanchez Sanchez, but known by his first name) ended the season closing in on 100 first-team appearances, having been an instant success after joining from Barcelona following the 2014 World Cup.

He concluded his first season at Arsenal with a screamer in the FA Cup final, was named in the PFA Team of the Year and was named PFA Fans' Player of the Season.
During three seasons in Spain, Alexis won the FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup (2011), the Copa del Rey (2012) and the league title (2013).

Previously he spent five years with Udinese in Serie A, which included loan spells with Colo-Colo and River Plate, having started his career with Cobreloa in Chile.

A full Chile international since 2006, he scored the winning penalty as his country won the Copa America in 2015, and was ever present as they retained the trophy last summer. He earned his 100th cap during the tournament, where he scored three times in six games.

Alexis's Arsenal Career

  Prem Lge Europe FA Cup Lge Cup C. Shield Total
Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2014-2015 34 + 1 16 9 4 5 + 1 4 1 1 1 0 50 + 2 25
2015-2016 28 + 2 13 7 3 3 + 1 1 0 + 1 0 0 0 38 + 4 17
2016-2017 12 + 1 8 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 + 1 10
Total 74 + 4 37 21 9 8 + 2 5 1 + 1 1 1 0 105 + 7 52

My Year

  • 2016/17
  • 2015/16
  • 2014/15

August

Alexis played three times in August, and scored once against Watford. The Chilean was used as a central striker for all three games in the month, and also assisted Mesut Ozil’s goal in the 3-1 victory at Vicarage Road.

September

Alexis played in all of our five unbeaten Premier League and Champions League matches in September, scoring four goals in the process. After scoring against PSG, he grabbed a brace in our 4-1 away win over Hull City, before claiming the opener and assisting the third goal in our 3-0 home win over Chelsea.

October

Alexis scored three times during October, once in the 6-0 win over Ludogorets and twice in our 4-1 victory against Sunderland. He also played in every other match in October, apart from the 2-0 EFL Cup fourth-round win over Reading.

July

Alexis did not feature for Arsenal in July after scoring the winning penalty as Chile lifted the Copa America.

August

Alexis featured in all of Arsenal’s league games in August, coming off the bench against West Ham before starting against Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Newcastle. Speaking ahead of the Liverpool game, Arsene Wenger said: “He is already better than when he arrived. In his final finishing there is room for improvement, in his final ball he is already much better, his vision is quite good and incisive.”

September

Alexis played six times during September, and scored his first hat-trick for Arsenal at Leicester City as he registered four goals and two assists in a month. Speaking after the Chile forward’s man-of-the-match performance at King Power Stadium, Arsene Wenger said: “He is back to his level. He won a big competition with Chile. I think as well mentally to adjust to the game on a mental level takes some time. I could see in training a different player and he has shown that. I believe going forward he always looked dangerous.”

October

Alexis played five times during October. The winger was in fine form for the month and scored three times with two goals against Manchester United and an important goal at Watford. Speaking after the game against Manchester United, Arsene Wenger said: “Everybody was very good today. Alexis was very efficient on top of that.”

November

Alexis played five times during November and scored twice during a man-of-the-match display against Dinamo Zagreb. The Chilean also claimed assists against Norwich City and Bayern Munich. “Alexis is interesting when he plays with the ball,” Laurent Koscielny said. "With the runs [he makes] he’s very important because he’s so quick. For the defence, it’s very hard to defend against him.”

December

Alexis did not play during December.

January

Alexis returned to football after a two-month injury absence against Burnley in the FA Cup and claimed a goal and an assist. The winger also came on as a substitute in the defeat to Chelsea.

February

Alexis featured six times against Southampton, Bournemouth, Leicester City, Hull City, Barcelona and Manchester United. He said: “Arsenal is now my family. It’s very fun [to be here] and now the focus is on the Premier League.”

March

Alexis played four times in March and scored the equaliser in the north London derby, while also claiming assists against Swansea City, Everton and former club Barcelona. Speaking about his love for football, he said: “I always want to play and to win because football's my passion, it's my life. I think [my passion] started in Tocopilla because I always used to play with older people. I always wanted to be a footballer, I always wanted to play.”

April

Alexis played in all six of Arsenal’s games in April and scored five times. The Chile international scored a brace against West Brom, and was on target against Crystal Palace, West Ham and Watford. The 27-year-old also claimed an assist against the Hornets when he pulled the ball back for Alex Iwobi against the Hornets. Speaking about his team-mate, Per Mertesacker said: “He is a key member of our side and, if he is fully fit, he makes the difference and that is always the case. He is that type of player who gives everything to the team. Those team members are well appreciated.”

May

Alexis played twice in May and scored the equalising goal in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City. The forward was also called up to Chile’s Copa America squad and won the April Goal of the Month competition for his fine effort against West Brom.

August

Chile international Alexis made a bright start to his Arsenal career after signing from Barcelona in the summer. He scored the winner against Besiktas to take the club into the Champions League group stage and netted his first Premier League goal away to Leicester City four days later. The 25-year-old also provided the assist for Laurent Koscielny's equaliser against Crystal Palace, while Arsene Wenger was full of praise for the forward after his winner against Besiktas. "He had a good game, not only on the technical side but on the fighting side,” the manager said. "He was mobile, dangerous and has shown as well he has great fighting spirit, qualities that will be very important in the Premier League."

September

Alexis’ goalscoring form continued after he scored a thunderous volley against Manchester City, before curling an unstoppable free-kick into the top corner against Southampton. He featured in all five of the Gunners’ September matches and has quickly become a fan favourite. Ahead of the Spurs game, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain said: “Alexis played 90 minutes the other day and he’s usually on second-day recovery but today he really wanted to train and people had to tell him to take it easy. He knew we had a massive game coming up this weekend.”

October

Alexis was voted Vitality Player of the Month for September and staked his claim for October’s award. The summer arrival demonstrated how quickly he’s adapted to the pace of the Premier League with three goals and an assist, plus a goal and assist in the Champions League against Galatasaray. “His confidence is high,” Mikel Arteta told Arsenal Player after the Sunderland game. “Physically he's better, you can see that by the runs he was making in the 93rd minute, [when he] chased the keeper and kept going. That's all about him - he wants to keep going, he wants to improve and he's doing very well.”

November

Alexis continued to impress in November. The Chile forward played every single minute for Arsenal and scored five goals in six games, including a brace against Burnley. Alexis also scored a goal in each of Chile’s friendlies against Venezuela and Uruguay. The forward capped off a memorable start to life in north London after Gunners fans voted him Arsenal’s Player of the Month for October. “Alexis is a great player and he gives so much to the team, not only offensively but also defensively,” Mathieu Flamini told Arsenal Player after the Burnley win. "He works very hard and that’s very important for us because getting the ball back very quickly when the game is open makes all the difference. He’s a great finisher, has a great spirit and we’re all really excited that he’s with us.”

December

Alexis completed a hat-trick of Vitality Player of the Month awards when he won the accolade for November. The Chile forward continued to demonstrate why he has become an instant fan favourite with Gunners worldwide after scoring two more goals and claiming four assists in six December matches.

January

Alexis scored three times in four of Arsenal’s January games, including a brace against Stoke City, and also claimed two assists. Speaking ahead of the Brighton & Hove Albion game, Theo Walcott said: “He is amazing because he spots things that a lot of players won’t. I tend to make my runs off the ball and he is always looking for that. He drags more players on to him, which creates more space for other people, and I do the same thing.”

February

Alexis missed the first two games of February through injury but returned to feature in the remaining four, claiming an assist in the FA Cup victory against Middlesbrough.

March

Alexis played in all six of Arsenal’s games in March, completing 90 minutes on three occasions, and scored in the 2-1 win at Queens Park Rangers. Speaking ahead of the West Ham United game, the Chile forward said: “I’m well adapted to the country and the league - I must keep on learning, though. I want to expand my knowledge of English football in general and Arsenal and my team-mates in particular, but overall I love this league. At the end of the day, football was invented in this country, right? I live where football was invented. That makes me really happy.”

April

Alexis was one of Arsenal’s star performers in April. The Chile forward claimed three goals and an assist in an impressive month, including a brace that secured the Gunners’ return to Wembley for the FA Cup final. Alexis’ month ended with him being named in the PFA Team of the Year. “It hasn’t been really easy but so far my spell here is a really positive one,” the 26-year-old said. “I like the city a lot and I feel really comfortable at the club. Supporters here are very cheerful and enlivening, which is a very nice thing.”

May

Alexis started all six of Arsenal’s May fixtures, scoring twice against Hull City before claiming a goal and an assist in the FA Cup final as he lifted his first major trophy with the Gunners. The Chile forward was also voted PFA Fans’ Player of the Season and won Arsenal’s Goal of the Month poll for April with his unstoppable strike against Liverpool. “He is not missing a lot of qualities!” Arlene Wenger said. "He has just been voted player of the year by the fans because he is very positive, who always wants to go forward, wants to hurt the opponent and he is also - what the fans like with him - a fighter. He is a guy who has a good combination of talent, combative aspect and fighting spirit. That is why he is liked by everybody here.”