Alexis has been fantastic up front but Wenger is not surprised

| 10th Dec 2016

Alexis has been fantastic up front but Wenger is not surprised

Alexis has won various plaudits for his performances at centre forward this season, but the 27-year-old’s scintillating form in front of goal has come as no surprise to Arsène Wenger.

The Chile forward has already scored 13 times in just 20 games, including a hat-trick at West Ham United and doubles against Hull, Sunderland and Bournemouth.

There was some criticism after Alexis failed to score in his first two games as the central striker this season, but Wenger always knew the forward had the right attributes to star in our leading role.

“He has developed very well as a centre forward because he has found a good mixture between coming short and going in behind,” Wenger said. “He has more freedom as well and he takes advantage of his short technique in the middle much more.

“I always saw that in Alexis and I must honestly say that when I played him there last year or two years ago I was wrong. The times I tried him through the middle were not convincing and I even remember against Everton I changed it at half-time.

“Sometimes when you have too many players you cannot attempt something which isn’t immediately conclusive because you’re under pressure. If it doesn’t work in one or two games and you have a top player on the bench, you’re tempted to change it very early.

“However, this year it clicked very early in the season because he took advantage of the fact Olivier Giroud was not here and not ready, so I was able to give him a run of games and he’s accepted that role very well.”

arsenal.com