Chris Sutton believes that Alexis Sanchez must play after Arsenal refused to sell him in the summer.

The notoriously grumpy pundit feels that Arsenal must use Alexis after they went through all the effort to keep him at the club. Somehow, I don’t think Wenger needs to be told to play his best player, but it seems people get anxious when the Chilean isn’t playing every minute of every game.

“I was surprised that Alexis Sanchez was left out by Arsene Wenger against Chelsea last week,” Sutton wrote in his column for the Daily Mail. “After all Arsenal’s stubbornness in refusing to sell the striker, why not use him?

“But I don’t think Wenger was trying to say there’s no player bigger than the club by benching the Chilean. The manager maybe felt Sanchez wasn’t up to speed. Still, I can’t see him being left out against West Brom on Monday night, particularly with Danny Welbeck out.

“If Arsenal want that X-factor in the final third then Sanchez is their man.”

Sutton actually answers his own question. Alexis didn’t start against Chelsea because he wasn’t completely fit while Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi were. That, at least, is the view from Arsene Wenger and one we should accept as the most reasonable explanation.

Many have read a lot into Alexis’ exclusion from the starting line-up, but the Chilean did have a difficult start to the season. His return from international duty with Chile was delayed due to illness, and then his pre-season training was disrupted by a side strain.

Wenger has already said that Alexis is ready to start against West Brom and will likely be restored to the starting line-up now that Danny Welbeck is injured.


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News and feature writer with a BA in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of East London. Long-time Arsenal fan also following Sevilla and local side Southend United. You can find me on Twitter @jeinchy29 talking about Arsenal and the issues affecting the English game,