Arsene Wenger claims that Alexis Sanchez isn’t ‘central to his plans’ because there’s no hierarchy at Arsenal, but is he lying?

Speaking after Arsenal’s narrow 1-0 League Cup victory over Doncaster Rovers in which the boss started Alexis after bringing him off the bench against Chelsea, Wenger insists that there’s no hierarchy at the club.

The Frenchman even tried to explain why the amount of playing time the Chilean’s getting this season isn’t as much as we thought it could be.

“Not more than any other. There is no real hierarchy,” Wenger said when asked if Alexis was central to his plans this season.

“I used the team at Chelsea who could be strong on the counter-attack and fight very hard. Sanchez could have played if he was 100% fit from the start.

“I have six or seven strikers but if I go in one game with three strikers, the three who have not played will play in mid-week no matter what game that is. But that is nothing calculated.

“There is no disguised attitude on my side.”

However, while Wenger could be telling the truth about the 28-year-old not being fully fit since he did return from summer later than others and suffered an abdominal injury, I can’t help but feel he’s not really telling the truth when it comes to there not being a hierarchy at Arsenal.

Last season, when the Gunners were still at the stage of trying to convince Alexis to stay, the forward was undroppable. And that’s not because he was fantastic all the time – he wasn’t.

alexis bournmouth
(IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

The wantaway international, who was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City this summer, scored 30 goals over all competitions last term. Some of which were important goals, for example, when he netted that penalty against Burnley so that Arsenal won 2-1 or when he scored against City in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

However, there were times when he wasn’t firing on all cylinders. And not just for one or two games either. From February to March he was pretty poor. And when Alexis isn’t in form he’s one of the most frustrating players to watch because he holds onto the ball and weaves in and out of players before kicking the ball out or getting dispossessed.

He was even statistically the most wasteful player in the Premier League last season, misplacing 239 passes in the final third.

Yet still, Wenger didn’t drop him.

We’ve also had a similar situation with Mesut Ozil in the past and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this season before he ran off to Liverpool. Almost as if they’re too special to drop or the boss is trying to convince them to hang around.