While it’s already been known for a few days that Arsene Wenger is resting Alexis Sanchez for Arsenal’s FA Cup trip to Preston North End, the boss has explained why.

After playing in all but the Gunners’ three EFL Cup fixtures so far this season right off the back of winning the Copa America again with Chile, I think most people would be in agreement that Alexis deserves a little rest.

Of course, the tenacious forward never wants to take a breather, giving us all minor episodes every time he so much as walks a bit funny, but Wenger has confirmed that, as he always planned, he will be giving Alexis a rest this January.

“Alexis wants always to play and on one side when I don’t play him, people say ‘why don’t you play him?’ and on the other hand I am criticised for using him too much,” Wenger said.
“But I always planned in my head, no matter what happens, that in January he will need a breather. 
“What we forget is that when they go away for international games they travel to Chile. Then they play sometimes 2,000 miles away, they travel back and then they come here and play the next day again. 
“They are human beings – you have to give them a breather at some stage. Mentally and physically [Alexis needs a rest] because at the moment he is a bit jaded. You can see that he is tired.”

Although the boss will probably play him in Premier League games, this weekend is a good opportunity to leave everyone’s favourite Chilean at home so he can rest his muscles, which is particularly important when it’s so cold.

Alexis Sanchez
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 01: Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal goes down injured during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium on January 1, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

With 26 games, 15 goals and 13 assists. I doubt anyone can begrudge the 28-year-old some shut-eye.

You can read about the rest of the team news ahead of our match against Preston North End on Saturday, here.