Arsene Wenger has admitted that he’s somewhat surprised at what good shape Alexis Sanchez has returned to training in, although he’s still doubtful the Chilean will feature against West Ham.
Alexis’s participation in the Copa American 2015 tournament in his home country meant that his break over the summer was slightly later than the rest of the squad. This means that he’s only just returned to full training, despite doing his best to keep fit on holiday.
Speaking in his pre-West Ham presser, the boss admitted, “He came back in surprisingly good shape.”
Alexis was huge for us last season, scoring 25 goals in all competitions – amazing for his first season in the Premier League.
About his involvement in Sunday’s match against the Hammers, Wenger said, “I will see [when he is ready to play]. It is about my decision. Will he not be involved at all on Sunday? I don’t know yet. It depends a little bit on what I see [in training on Saturday] and who will be available.”
He continued, “Alexis understands perfectly well. He is one of the players who played the World Cup [in 2014], came back here and played the whole season without a break, goes to the Copa America and basically cannot start the season.”
Adding, “At some stage you need to give these players a rest or they get serious injuries.”
I’m sure if it was up to Alexis, he’s be first out of the tunnel in our first fixture of the new season since he can’t seem to sit still for a minute, but, as the boss said, it’s crucial that he gets the same amount of rest as the other players in order to prevent him being sidelined.
We proved against Chelsea in the Community Shield that we’re more than capable of winning without him, so I don’t believe having him sit out for a couple of matches will make a huge impact on the team.
Saying this, I’d be lying if I denied I can’t wait to see him on the pitch again.