Alexis Sanchez
Arsenal beat Liverpool to sign Alexis SanchezGetty

Arsene Wenger has revealed that he was pleasantly surprised when they managed to prise Alexis Sanchez away from Barcelona in spite of Liverpool having a better chance of signing the forward following their interaction with the Catalan club over a deal for Luis Suarez.

The manager conceded that Liverpool were in the drivers seat to sign Sanchez, given they had the option of making a swap deal with the Chilean but the former Udinese man decided to move to the north London and has been a revelation since. The Copa America winner scored a magnificent goal in the same fixture last season as the Gunners obliterated Liverpool 4-1 at the Emirates, taking revenge for their 5-1 humiliation at Anfield a season before.

"At the start when I saw (Luis) Suarez went to Barcelona I though that is the obvious deal, one player one way and the other player goes the other way, so I had not much hope and I was quite surprised that at the time it was possible," Wenger said, as quoted by Sky Sports.

The forward is still not back at his best after an extended holiday owing to his exertions in the Copa, but is likely to start against the Reds after being forced into the team following the Gunners' disastrous start to the season.

However, the manager is of the view that the South American still has room for improvement and would do well to work on his finishing, which let him down against Crystal Palace, as he missed a plethora of chances to put the game to bed in the opening exchanges.

"Alexis has that desire to go forward and provoke chaos in the defences because he has a go at you, to run at people and that creates danger," the Arsenal boss added.

"He is already better than when he arrived.

"In his final finishing there is room for improvement, but in his final ball he is already much better, his vision is quite good and incisive."

Wenger added: "What Sanchez has is in the first two yards is that he is lightning quick. He has that explosive attitude linked with his spirit, which makes him even more spectacular."