Alexis Sanchez’s former manager, Pasquale Marino, has revealed that the player used to practically beg him to play, play, play.

As we’ve realised this season, there is simply no stopping Alexis.

Dubbed the ‘Bionic Mosquito’ by Amy Lawrence, he is a player who never seems to know when he is exhausted and according to the manager who played him at Udinese, the Chilean would play three games in a day if he could.

“Alexis could easily play three matches per day,” Marino said. “As soon as the (training) match started, Alexis used to abandon the scarico (recovery period) and would run up to me, almost imploring: ‘Mister, let me play, just for a few minutes. Please, please, please. I promise I won’t get injured.’ Football is an enormous pleasure for him.”

He really is made of something different to most players and it is this very essence which is one of the many reasons Arsenal fans already adore him.

“Putting him on the bench is like taking a toy from a child,” Marino continued. “There was just one thing that worried me when he joined Barcelona — they were full of amazing forwards and it was by no means a given that Alexis would be in the starting 11.

“Since I know how important it is for him to play, I feared that without regular football he could become discouraged. But he proved he was good enough to become an essential part of the team and fitted into the Barca way of playing.”

Suffering something of a dip in form, here’s hoping he can really hit his stride against the side who tried to sign him in the summer and who took it rather hard when he turned them down to sign for The Arsenal.