Alexis Sanchez scored the opening goal against Watford today, but the Chilean was almost rested by Arsene Wenger, as reported by Goal.
The South American star has had a busy schedule recently, and after seemingly picking up an injury against Manchester United the other week, he still played 180 minutes against Brazil and Peru for Chile – scoring three goals in the process.
With Bayern Munich coming up, you’d understand that Wenger might want to rest his key players. The Premier League is arguably our biggest focus this season though, and it’s hard to drop a player like Alexis, especially when he’s in this kind of form.
Wenger suggests he may have taken Alexis off sooner had the game been put to bed earlier, but with Watford proving stubborn we needed the Chilean on the pitch.
“I did [consider resting Alexis Sanchez]. Yesterday in the training session he looked quite sharp and the medical people told me he has no problem at all, then I thought I would test if he is ready and if he was not ready I would take him out,” he said.
“But sometimes it is easier to start the game and take the players off than when you go into the game a little bit tired, because you go with the game. So I decided to go for that.
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“I believe every player hates not playing but as well you have periods as a player. When a player is on a scoring moment then sometimes the flow can be disturbed. That is why I leave him in.”
Hopefully Alexis doesn’t burn out this season, as we badly need him to continue in this vein of form. Wenger may get a chance to rest him at some point, but our clash with Bayern is unlikely to be that point.
Alexis’ goal on the hour mark opened the floodgates, and Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey were able to seal the win. But without his goal, who knows what would have happened.