Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger doesn’t seem best pleased with Chile’s use of Alexis Sánchez, and who can blame him?
Alexis hobbled off at the end of Arsenal’s last game, a 3-0 win against Manchester United, but went on international duty anyway, playing twice for La Roja.
Jorge Sampaoli knows Alexis is a huge player for his team but the Arsenal manager will be a bit worried about the forward’s fitness heading into Saturday’s game against Watford. Unfortunately, very little could be done about it.
“I cannot do a lot about it. He came off as you have seen against Manchester United with a hip problem, a problem with the rotator muscle and he wanted to go,” Wenger admitted in Thursday’s pre-match press conference. “He played in the last two games and we have to see how he comes back.
“He is a guy that always wants to play so I knew that was always going to be a tricky situation.”
Three Alexis goals in the two games against Brazil and Peru would have vindicated Sampaoli’s decision in the coach’s own mind, but it was a little careless. Will Wenger run the same risk?
Around 72 hours after the game against Watford, Arsenal face Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Will Wenger use Alexis both times. Can he afford not to?
“You could see that but now he is back to his level and even better than before,” said the manager. “His overall game and finishing, contributing and assists is excellent. He works hard for the team and he finishes. His enthusiasm is contagious.
“He always gives you hope that he is going to do something and he always gets defenders on the back foot, provokes and that is top class.”
The title race is very much own and Wenger knows it, but the game against Bayern Munich gives Arsenal a glimmer of hope in the Champions League after losing both of our opening group games.
Alexis seems to be super human but everyone has a breaking point. It’s hard to imagine him sitting out either of these upcoming games, so we’ll have to just hope he can come through them without worsening his injury.