This is definitely a very strange situation with all the publicity about Alexis Sanchez getting a “small” tear on his hamstring while training with the Chile national side earlier this month. If it was really serious then how come he played out of his skin four days later against Uruguay, scoring two goals, and then running around like the Duracell Bunny against Man United last week.
And again, on Wednesday he was again instrumental against PSG even though he was played as a winger. I saw him back near our corner flag winning balls a couple of times helping out the defence. It was the first time Carl Jenkinson had played with Sanchez, and he was extremely impressed. “It’s a pleasure to play behind a player like that,” Jenkinson said on Arsenal.com. “On the ball he’s fantastic and people know what he offers and what he can bring, and just to see his workrate is great.
“People underestimate how hard he works sometimes because people always look at what he can do with the ball, but his workrate is exceptional. That’s always nice to have in front of you as a full back, to have that protection.
“The last thing you want is a winger who’s staying upfield, hugging the touchline and not helping you out defensively. With Alexis, he helps you out defensively as well as and when he can. It was a pleasure to play with him as I haven’t played with him before.
“It’s not just Alexis, though, this squad is riddled with world-class players,” Jenkinson added. “That’s the sort of environment I want to be in. I want to play with players of that character, of that stature, because I think it’ll bring the best out of me as a footballer.
“Who wouldn’t want to be on a football pitch with players like that? I’ve been watching the boys from the sidelines for what seems like an eternity now because I’d been out for so long, but to be back on the pitch and playing with the boys has been a long time coming and I’m just enjoying every moment of that now.”
But, going back to Alexis, could this be the reason that Wenger put him back on the wing so he could help out the inexperienced Jenkinson, and put Giroud in the middle. Surely Le Prof wouldn’t have done that if Sanchez was injured, as he had to work a lot harder than if he was the lone striker?
I would say that being the centre-forward doesn’t really suit Samchez as he hates being stranded away from the action, whereas on the wing he can basically go where he likes as long as he helps out the defence as well. So should he stay out on the wing for now, especially as Lucas and Welbeck will be around soon to provide competition for Giroud?