Alexis Sanchez will not travel with Arsenal to Australia, disappointing many fans down under.
At first, the news that he wouldn’t travel seemed to indicate a move could be close for the Chilean but upon quick reflection the reason was obvious – he will still be on holiday.
Alexis will take part in the Confederations Cup with his country in Russia this summer. That kicks off on 17 June with their first game against Cameroon the next day.
The first knock-out round, the semi-final, will take place on 28 June after the groups conclude three days earlier.
Assuming that Chile go out in the group stages, the earliest Alexis will be free from footballing obligations is the 25 June. Arsene Wenger insists on giving players a 4-week holiday meaning that he will not be back at Arsenal until 16 July – three days after their game against Sydney.
Speaking last summer, Wenger said about players who were at the Euros, “You consider the rest time because France had a long, long go and I believe that they need four weeks’ holiday because they need to recover from that.
“It takes you two or three weeks to regenerate… to recover completely, and they need to come back with hunger.”
While the Confederations Cup is not the same as the Euros, given the amount of football that Alexis has played, a 4-week break will most likely be insisted upon.
It is not yet clear if he could meet up with the squad for their game against Bayern Munich in Shanghai on 19 July or their game against Chelsea at the Bird’s Nest Stadium on 22nd.
He could even miss the Emirates Cup which starts on 29 July. Given that Chile are in a group with Cameroon, Australia and Germany and that two teams from each group make it through to the semis, Chile are certainly favourites to make it that far at least.
The final doesn’t take place until 2 July, which would effectively rule him out until 10 days before the new season is set to start.