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Sanchez decision delights Wenger

Published 03/04/2015

Chile forward Alexis Sanchez was a summer target for Liverpool before he signed with Arsenal
Chile forward Alexis Sanchez was a summer target for Liverpool before he signed with Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger does not know the exact reason Alexis Sanchez chose the Emirates Stadium over Anfield - but he is glad the Chile forward will be lining up for his side rather than against them for Liverpool on Saturday.

Sanchez had his selection of clubs once Barcelona had decided to let him leave, and following the World Cup, the 26-year-old was convinced to continue his career under Wenger's expert guidance, going on to make an instant impression in English football.

The French coach, however, admits the possibility Liverpool could use their interest in Sanchez as leverage during negotiations over Luis Suarez's move to the Nou Camp last summer was always on the cards.

"At the end of the day, only Sanchez can explain to you why he has chosen us. I don't know why he did that, but we are happy that he made that decision," said Wenger of the £32million Chile forward, who has netted 19 goals so far.

"I was (aware of Liverpool's interest), but you never know if it is really true, but I thought it could be because of the interest in Suarez (from Barcelona).

"In the negotiations, yes, it is a strength - and it makes sense, an exchange and some money for Liverpool."

Wenger believes the way Sanchez has adapted so quickly to a change in environment proves he is one of the best around.

"If you look at the qualities, efficiency, work-rate, fighting spirit - (he is at the) top," the Arsenal boss added.

"When it (the game) becomes flat, he can revitalise the strengths and dynamics of the team and the supporters."

Ahead of the key Barclays Premier League clash, Wenger was keen to play down any talk of a potential summer transfer move for Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling, who has so far rejected a new contract offer.

Despite the Reds having lost to Manchester United before the international break to dent hopes of another top-four finish, Wenger has been impressed by the way Brendan Rodgers has developed his team following the sale of Suarez and injury to striker Daniel Sturridge.

"He has done very well. I think he found a solution at the right time," the Arsenal manager said.

"They did well last season too, they scored over 100 goals in the Premier League, which is absolutely fantastic."

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