Chile international set off on foot during his time at Udinese, due to an every day
Alexis Sanchez once set off on an improvised 8000 metres run during his time at Udinese, because he locked his keys in his car!

The Manchester United attacker, who joined the club from Arsenal in the January transfer window as part of a swap deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan, spent his formative years in Italy after joining Udinese at the age of 17.

The Chilean struggled initially, however, with the physical demands of Serie A, and was required to bulk up to compete properly.

Part of his training came in somewhat surprising circumstances, however, as Italian journalist Pietro Oleotto explained to the Inside United magazine .

“Once, after training, Alexis drove into Udine to do some shopping. But he accidentally locked his keys and mobile phone in his car," he said.

"I'm not sure what most people would have done, but he just ran home. He jogged the 8km from the heart of the city to his house in the hills.

"Bemused locals saw him in his club tracksuit running and called us at the paper. It was typical of Alexis to turn the situation into an improvised cross-country run.”

Alexis' first full season at Udinese, the 2008-09 campaign, saw him add an impressive amount of muscle, as he played 32 games in Serie A, scoring three goals and providing two assists.

“In his first season, he [Alexis] was skinny and stayed on the right wing a lot,” Oleotto recalls. “The physicality in the penalty area was too much for him. But the team needed him more central, closer to the goal, to make the most of his dribbling.

“So he began improving his body and they built him an ad-hoc gym. He worked out for two hours a day after training. I remember seeing him halfway through pre-season training camp and being shocked by how much muscle he had put on.”

Alexis would eventually play over 110 times for Udinese, before joining Barcelona for a fee of £23 million in 2011. He spent three years at Camp Nou before his move to Arsenal in 2014 and then swapped Premier League clubs before the close of the January transfer window.