Former Udinese manager Pasquale Marino believes Alexis could play three matches in a day.
Marino managed Udinese between 2007 and 2010, and handed a young Alexis Sanchez his debut for the club.
The Italian reflected on the time he managed the Chilean, and believes his desire to play football was so strong that he could have easily played multiple games in a day.
“Alexis could easily play three matches per day. As soon as the [training] match started, Alexis would abandon the scario [recovery] and 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 told the IB Times.
Alexis certainly shows visible signs of frustration whenever he doesn’t play.
Last season, he started sulking when he was taken off away to Swansea when Arsenal were already 4-0 up.
His eagerness to play is also reflected in his playing style, and has helped him achieve the success he has.
Alexis made 112 appearances for Udinese and scored 21 times before making the big move to Barcelona.
The move concerned Marino, who thought Barcelona’s attacking quality would limit Alexis’ game time and see him become discouraged.
“Putting him on the bench is like taking a toy from a child. 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,” he said.
“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.”
In Spain, he made 141 appearances ans scored 47 times before moving to Arsenal, where he’s had the best period of his career in terms of goals.
Marino believes Alexis has never looked stronger, and could still reach a higher level.
“He’s never looked as strong as he does now.
“Personally, I think he could score more than 35 goals a season in any league he plays in. If he succeeded in doing that, he would be at the same level as two monsters of the modern game: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Nowadays only those two, and maybe Zlatan Ibrahimović, can claim to be better than Alexis.”
Alexis’ contract expires in the summer and the odds of him achieving that higher level at Arsenal are very low.