Alexis Sanchez has looked in need of a rest recently, but seems unlikely to get it during the international break. He has already played 90 minutes against Colombia, and could play against Uruguay on Tuesday despite nursing an injury, as reported by Goal.
Our talismanic forward has looked jaded recently, with his lack of a proper break over the summer seemingly catching up with him. He reportedly complained about calf pain after Chile’s 1-1 draw with Colombia, which seemed to suggest he wouldn’t play a part against Uruguay. Chile boss Jorge Sampaoli is determined to play Alexis though, and claims they will give him up until the last minute to see if he can play.
“Alexis had pain in his calf and we will wait for him until the last minute to see if he is ready to play,” Sampaoli said in his pre-match press conference.
Arsene Wenger has recently stressed the need to give Alexis a mid-season break, with the Frenchman afraid the former Barcelona star could burn out if not monitored carefully this season (via the Daily Mail).
Sampaoli is clearly only concerned with winning the game against Uruguay however, and is willing to risk playing an exhausted and potentially injured player in order to do so.
It would be devastating to our campaign if Alexis were to suffer a serious injury, so if he really is running on empty at the moment then he needs to be wrapped in cotton wool and coddled if necessary.
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Alexis is not the type of player who would willingly sit out a game if he thought he was able to play, so it’s down to the managers to keep tabs on his fitness and rest him where possible. If he’s nursing an injury then he obviously isn’t fit to start, and Sampaoli needs to take that into account.