Arsène Wenger says Alexis’ energy levels “hit me straight in the face” the first time that he spotted him play.
The Chile international was at Udinese in Italy when the Arsenal manager saw him in action in Serie A.
Wenger tracked him as he later signed for Barcelona before eventually completing his move to Arsenal in 2014.
“It was playing for Udinese [that I first spotted him],” Wenger said on Arsenal Soundcloud. “He was very dynamic, very direct and very straight to the point.
“He was one of these players where his energy and the intensity of his energy level hits you straight in the face.
“It is strange because he catches your eye with his energy and level of commitment he puts into everything he does and that is what remained with me.”