Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says striker Alexis Sanchez has added more of a team mentality to his game this season.
Sanchez, 27, has been the Gunners’ standout player so far, taking his goal tally to 10 with a brace in the 3-1 win over Bournemouth on Sunday.
He is on course for his best campaign yet at the club after being moved into a central role up front, where his relentless energy has been causing problems for defenders, but Wenger said his good form is also down to a different mentality.
“I think Alexis adds to his game a desire to fight for the team and as well, he’s a winner, he wants to win the game and he does what it takes to win the game,” Wenger told Arsenal’s official website. “I believe on a tactical front he has improved much more, he works much more for the team and when it’s needed during games, he works very hard for the team.”
Sanchez is likely to be rested for Wednesday’s EFL Cup game against Southampton, when Lucas Perez is set to return from an ankle injury. But the Chile international is likely to remain Wenger’s first-choice striker, even when Olivier Giroud is fit to play.
In addition to scoring twice against Bournemouth, Sanchez also created the opening goal for Theo Walcott when he pounced on a poor back pass to score.
“He has the instinct of a real striker,” Wenger said. “He wants to hit you, he wants to go at you. When he gets the ball, he runs forward and he runs at any defender. He shows, maybe sometimes to excess, that dribbling quality is an important quality for a striker.
“It’s his game and you do not want to take that out of his game. His dribbling is provocative, it’s not retention, it’s provocative, to create damage.”