There was some real concern for Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal fans last week. after the Chile international star Alexis Sanchez missed the first of his home nation’s two World Cup qualifiers because of an injury picked up in training.
As it turns out we did not need to worry as Alexis played the second of those matches and was still alright to start for Arsenal at Old Trafford on Saturday, but it was a stark reminder of how much we rely on the Chilean as I am sure that the boss would have rested him if it was not a big match against a Premier League rival like Manchester United.
Perhaps it was this latest injury scare that did it or perhaps Wenger already had it in his mind, but whatever the case it appears that the prof is planning to give Sanchez a winter break this season to reduce any risk of burnout or injury, according to a Daily Mail report.
I do like this idea as the striker has not had a proper summer break since 2013 and was used to having a winter break at his previous clubs in Spain and Italy, but when can Arsenal afford to do without the 27-year old? The paper says it could be after this week’s crucial and potentially decisive Champions League clash with PSG but even if we are in pole position afterwards the Gunners still have to finish the job away to Basel and I don’t think we can take it for granted.
If Wenger agrees and wants to be sure of top spot then he could only give Alexis a week off while Arsenal face Bournemouth and West Ham in the league and Southampton in the EFL cup. After the final UCL game there is only 12 days until we travel to Man City and I’m sure the manager wants his star striker to play in that match. Then we are getting into the busy festive period but that might be the best time looking at the fixtures.
After Man City the next three weeks see Arsenal host West Brom on Boxing Day and Crystal Palace on new years day and then travel to Bournemouth on the 3rd with our first FA cup tie that weekend. Is that the perfect time for Arsenal to give Alexis Sanchez his much needed break?