“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
Latest odds suggest that bookies believe Alexis Sanchez will score less than 12 goals in the Premier League season ahead.
But Sanchez’ big money move to the Emirates Stadium is his own opportunity to put years of preparation into practice and it’s taken a long time for him to get that chance.
Born in Tocopilla, Chile, his upbringing made the prospect of leading the line for his country in a World Cup the least of his worries.
Growing up in a single storey house with his three siblings, Alexis was raised only by his Mother, who had to work multiple jobs to provide for her children’s safety and welfare.
With boundless amounts of energy, ‘The Squirrel’ as he was nicknamed, used to do all he could in order to pull his weight for survival.
Talking to The Sun, his brother Humberto Sanchez described his family ordeal.
“Alexis had nothing when growing up. He had to fight for everything he has.
He would wash cars for a few pence or perform somersaults for a handful of coins from onlookers. He was like a little gymnast, hurling himself all over the place.
The neighbours would give him a few coins for entertaining them. Sometimes he was so hungry he would knock on neighbours' doors and ask for bread.
They would always gibe him what they had to spare. On occasions Alexis would box in the street for entertainment.”
A Chilean Superhero
Alexis Sanchez’ strive to entertain carried out in the way he exhibited football, his natural talent labeling him ‘El Nino Maravilla (The Wonder Kid)’.
His ability to hurl himself around and be doing multiple jobs at the same time reflect his strengths on a football pitch and why Arsène Wenger was so keen to spend £35 million on the Chilean international.
Alongside ‘quality’, the French manager emphasized that the ‘power’ and ‘creativity’ that Alexis Sanchez can bring to the Arsenal front line justifies the price tag paid to Barcelona.
Whilst many people doubt that Sanchez is the striker that the Gunners have been waiting for all along, they fail to acknowledge how his historic versatility can work in the sides favour.
Take the World Cup this summer. The Chilean played in a front two which allowed him to score his national teams equaliser against Brazil.
Later on in the same game, he was placed on the inside left of the field, which allowed him to link up with an out and out striker in the form of Mauricio Pinilla.
By becoming the link between midfield and forwards, Sanchez could use his renowned creativity to help the team score a crucial last minute goal.
Ultimately, it was Sanchez’ one-two exchange that resulted in Pinilla’s crossbar effort that would lead to the tragic penalty shootout.
At Udinese, he played just behind the striker, which resulted in his prospects as a striker being curbed with only 21 goals in 112 appearances.
Moving to Barcelona, he was also used as a makeshift player in order to use all his talents in enhancing Lionel Messi’s role at the club.
Nevertheless, he managed to score 21 goals during a season which promised much, but ended in his slow decline and freezing out of the first-team.
Against all odds
Olivier Giroud scored 11 Premier League goals in his first season at the club and it can be argued that his talent is in a dark shadow compared to Sanchez’.
Coming at a high price, with World Cup form, quality, creativity, power and belief, there is no doubt that the Chilean forward can have an impact bigger than Mesut Özil’s last summer.
So when the ball comes in from a Mathieu Debuchy cross from the wing next season, you can be sure that Alexis Sanchez will be ready to finish his opportunity in style, proving all the doubters from his 25 years wrong.
How many goals will Sanchez score in the Premier League this season?
Put your money where your mouth is
Bet on Alexis Sanchez to score more that 11.5 goals. LINK to the betting market - it closes 16 Aug 15:00
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