Arsene Wenger has already spoken this season about his wish to give the Chile international the sort of winter break that he used to get at his former clubs Barcelona and Udinese and which is the norm in just about every other league in Europe.
The problem is that Alexis Sanchez has become such a vital cog in the Arsenal side that it is hard for the manager to leave him out for one game, never mind a couple of weeks. We do have the French centre forward Olivier Giroud but his abilities are much different to the Chilean’s and so even though he is a good option who has been in good form he is also a very different one and the Gunners would have to change our current playing style.
Maybe the boss was hoping that the summer signing from La Liga, Lucas Perez, would be able to cover for Alexis but as of yet the Spaniard has not shown his best form and has been out for a while due to injury. His first game after recovering certainly did not help Wenger, as Lucas was virtually anonymous and Arsenal were awful as we lost the EFL cup match against Southampton, but last night’s Champions League win at Basel was a totally different story.
So after the new striker bagged a hat-trick against the Swiss champions, could Wenger now give Sanchez that break? Maybe, although the big Premier League clash with Man City takes place in just 11 days. I would think that the manager wants his star striker to play in that but after it we have two weeks until the new year and just two games, both at home, against West Brom and Crystal Palace.
Would that be the right time for Alexis to be given a rest, especially if Perez can push on from his hat-trick and show the sort of form that made us sign him in the first place?