Alexis Sanchez‘s quality was never up for debate, but he has still managed to repeatedly surprise since his arrival from Barcelona last summer. Arsene Wenger is the latest to voice his astonishment, with the Frenchman claiming the Chilean has returned to training in exceptionally good shape.
Alexis scored 25 goals in all competitions last season, and was a massive part of our success throughout the campaign. He is a hugely important cog in the Arsenal machine, and keeping him fit will be vital this season. Wenger understands this, and suggests that he will be easing the 26-year-0ld back into action.
“He came back in surprisingly good shape,” said Wenger.
“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.
“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.
“At some stage you need to give these players a rest or they get serious injuries.”
We can’t afford to let anything happen to Alexis, as his talent and tireless work-rate would be impossible to replace. We have excelled without him in pre-season however, and should manage without him for at least a few games if necessary.
This is unlikely to be the last time the former La Liga star surprises Wenger – or anyone else for that matter – and hopefully we see him back and scoring sooner rather than later.