Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez has handed the Gunners a massive boost ahead of their clash against Chelsea after committing his immediate future to the club. The Chilean forward has been sidelined for over six weeks with a hamstring injury, but is expected to play a part when the reigning Premier League champions visit the Emirates Stadium on 24 January.
Sanchez, who arrived from Barcelona in a reported £35m ($50m) deal, during the summer of 2014, has been one of the north London club's key players. He helped them retain the FA Cup last season and finish in third place and has targeted more glory with the club this campaign. Arsene Wenger's team are in the mix for the Premier League title, the FA Cup and Champions League and the Chile international is keen on challenging on all three fronts.
The 26-year-old former Barcelona forward has admitted that he is happy at Arsenal, and believes that the strong bond between all the players will help them challenge for the league title and hopefully win it for the first time in over a decade.
"I am very happy at Arsenal and I'm not thinking about leaving. The unity here between fans, club and players is enormous and the supporters have been fantastic. We suffer the defeats and enjoy the victories together," Sanchez said, as quoted by the Mirror.
"This campaign we are demonstrating that we are serious candidates for the Premier League title. I think there can be no doubt about our credentials to be champions this time."
"It's true that we have lost important points that could have given us a bigger advantage in the table, but, overall, we are having a very good season. The spirit between the players is sensational and, when we do suffer a blow, we are able to overcome it. That's very important," the Chilean explained.
"I am always ambitious in football and I still want to win three titles this season – the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League. It will not be easy but we can do it."
Sanchez further admitted that he was surprised over Chelsea's form this season with the Blues currently struggling on 14th place in the Premier League. They are also under new management following the sacking of Jose Mourinho earlier in the season, but the former Udinese star is confident that they will have a role to play in the title race along with the two Manchester clubs and Leicester City, who have surprised everyone with their resilience to maintain a title push well into the second half of the campaign.
"I am very surprised by Chelsea's results this season and by the exit of Mourinho," said Sanchez. "They are one of the biggest clubs in the league, but this year aren't in the race for the title. But I'm sure they will beat some big teams because their pride is enormous," Sanchez added.
"Every game is difficult and the title race is close. Leicester have been a surprise and we know about Manchester City. But Manchester United also have a great team and are always candidates for the title too. They have changed their coach this season and it takes players time to get used to a new system, but I'm sure they will be tough opponents in the title race. So, it's important we keep going."