Alexis Sanchez’s former Barcelona teammate, Xavi, has piled a whole tonne of praise onto the Chilean recently.

According to the midfielder, after playing alongside Alexis, he always knew he was amazing and it’s only now that the spotlight is on him, since he’s the main man at Arsenal, that everyone else is finally noticing.

“The level Sanchez is playing at now is not a shock to me at all, he is one of the top forwards in Europe and now everybody is seeing it,” Xavi said, reports Goal.

“He scored some important goals for Barcelona but maybe because there were so many established stars already at Barcelona that not everybody recognised him as they should. 

“Now at Arsenal he is their main threat, people are starting to notice – but anybody who has played with him will know of his qualities and not be at all surprised he is now being considered one of the best attacking players in the world. 

“What gets him so much respect is his work rate. He has this obvious ability but also works so hard for the team, he never stops running.”

Well, Arsene Wenger obviously noticed something as well.

Alexis Sanchez and Xavi
Barcelona’s Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez (R) celebrates next to Barcelona’s midfielder Xavi Hernandez after scoring during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Getafe CF on April 10, 2012 at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. AFP PHOTO/ JOSEP LAGO (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

Signing the forward from the Catalan giants for a reported £35m seems like a steal when you consider we paid the same for Shkodran Mustafi. Imagine what he could go for now.

Although, hopefully he won’t be going at all.

Alexis’ contract with Arsenal runs out in 18 months and the 27-year-old has said it’s basically down to the club to put their ‘confidence’ in him. Considering he plays every match, this ‘confidence’ doesn’t appear to be more time on the pitch…

Regardless, he’s world class and we do need to keep him. He’s special.