Arsène Wenger says Alexis Sanchez's versatility was his main reason for signing the Chile international.

The former Barcelona and Udinese forward is set to make his first appearance in an Arsenal shirt this weekend after joining up with the first-team squad on Friday.

Alexis can operate from either wing or as a centre forward and Wenger believes his pace will add an extra dimension to Arsenal's attack.

With the quality of his runs he can be very important for us

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

"Then at Barcelona it was a bit more difficult. But it's like you could see with Neymar at Barcelona, because there you have Messi. You see Neymar with Brazil and Neymar with Barcelona and it's not the same. I like the fact he can play left, right, up front and that's why I went for him.

"At the moment I want to see him in both positions. But 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 will try to give him some part on Sunday and then maybe even a few minutes tomorrow."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Isaac Moore 1 Aug 2014