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Sanchez raring to go as Wenger hints at more recruits
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Alexis Sanchez will not need time to adapt to the Premier League and is confident the Chilean will make a flying start to life in England.
Sanchez, who joined Arsenal from Barcelona for £35 million earlier this summer, is set to make his Premier League debut against managerless Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
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Wenger is convinced the attacker will impress from the first whistle of the season and, while the Frenchman is happy with his summer dealings so far, he hinted there could be more.
"I think he will be very quick to adapt," Wenger said. "He is very keen. He is a player who is proactive, wants to make things happen, runs at people. He is committed. I believe he has all the ingredients to be a very good Premier League player.
"I am happy with our signings. [Mathieu] Debuchy, [Calum] Chambers and Sanchez have integrated well with the team. We are not destabilised. It is a strong re-enforcement of our squad.
"I could still do something, I won't rule it out. Numbers wise we are maybe a bit short in certain areas, but the depth of the squad is very good. I'm very excited by this group."
Wenger is adamant his new signings will help improve on last season's showing, when they topped the table for so long until poor results against their rivals halted their challenge and the club eventually finished fourth.
However, the Frenchman says he has never experienced a calmer atmosphere around the club - seemingly down to their nine-year wait for a trophy coming to an end with last season's FA Cup win - and he insists his players are prepared to make their tilt on the title.
"I'm very excited," said Wenger when asked to sum up his mood ahead of the new season. "What these players have is ambition and a good togetherness in the team. I believe we have a chance [in the title race].
"We were top of the league for so long last year. It is difficult to know how the other teams will be and we still have some challenges to face that we did not face well last year. We need to take more points from the top teams and that will be our real challenge this year and keep the consistency we had last year against the teams that are not challenging for the championship.
"There is a little bit of weight off the shoulders [after winning a trophy], that's for sure. Confidence is there for this team, but we want to transform that into efficiency with our performances.
"This is the calmest environment I remember certainly, but I am long enough in the job to know that all that matters is the first game. I know the toughness of the Premier League. All the rest is good for us to have, good spirit, good quality in our sessions, but the reality comes when we start against Palace. To show we are up for it and ready for the battle.
"It will be a tough competition. We finished fourth last year with 79 points. Manchester City won with 86, so it was very tight. It was very tight in the top four. If you win against them, they have three points less, then it is down to one game. It is tough to predict who will win it. We know it will be tough.
"There are six or seven teams who are genuine contenders for the Premier League. You only assess the contenders once the window closes."