As a Gooner I am normally fully behind any of the Arsenal players involved on international duty for their country, whether it is in a big tournament like Euro 2016 or the Copa America, or simply a friendly match, although there have been times when I have cursed a national manager for picking one of our lads and then seeing them pick up an injury.
The situation with our Chile international star Alexis Sanchez, however, is quite a bit different. Not only is there a concern about him getting an injury, and it is a big one after we saw how badly Arsenal missed him when he was out of action and then out of touch for a large part of last season.
We also have the very real worry about his fitness levels, which is why I think it would be a huge boost to Arsenal’s chances next season if the 27-year old superstar had a good long break before coming back to north London for pre-season preparations.
And with his national team Chile having struggled at the Copa America before, leaving them teetering on the brink of an early exit, there is a real chance of that happening. Defeat to Panama in the early hours of this morning would see them crash out and that could mean almost three weeks extra break for Alexis, whereas going through could mean three more hard fought games for the Gunner and the possible extended celebrations if they won it.
So will you also be a Panama fan for this one game today?