Jenkinson: Sanchez's work rate underestimated

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Forget Alexis Sanchez's goalscoring ability and skill with the ball at his feet, Arsenal team-mate Carl Jenkinson lauded the Chilean's willingness to defend.

One of the best forwards in the world, Sanchez's work in the attacking third is unquestionable, having scored six goals and tallied three assists in the Premier League this season.

But Jenkinson insisted the 27-year-old's work rate should not be underestimated.

"It's a pleasure to play behind a player like that," Jenkinson told Arsenal's official website. "On the ball he's fantastic and people know what he offers and what he can bring, and just to see his work rate is great.

"People underestimate how hard he works sometimes because people always look at what he can do with the ball, but his work rate is exceptional. That's always nice to have in front of you as a full back, to have that protection.

"The last thing you want is a winger who's staying upfield, hugging the touchline and not helping you out defensively. With Alexis, he helps you out defensively as well as and when he can. It was a pleasure to play with him as I haven't played with him before.

"It's not just Alexis, though, this squad is riddled with world-class players. That's the sort of environment I want to be in. I want to play with players of that character, of that stature, because I think it'll bring the best out of me as a footballer.

"Who wouldn't want to be on a football pitch with players like that? I've been watching the boys from the sidelines for what seems like an eternity now because I'd been out for so long, but to be back on the pitch and playing with the boys has been a long time coming and I'm just enjoying every moment of that now."

Arsenal - fourth in the table and three points behind leaders Chelsea - host Bournemouth in the Premier League on Sunday.