Is Wenger right to risk early returns for key Arsenal duo?

It does not take a genius to work out that Arsenal would be better off if Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey were in the starting line-up when we kick off the new Premier League campaign with a home game against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side a week on Sunday.

Both the Wales international midfielder and the Chilean forward put in impressive performances for their countries over the summer, with Alexis helping Chile to a remarkable second Copa America win in a row after securing their first ever triumph just a year ago.

Ramsey’s Wales could not quite make it all the way at Euro 2016 but they did greatly exceed the pre-tournament expectations and the Arsenal star was one of the driving forces behind that success. So you would expect both to come back to club football with high confidence and good form.

Having said that, they have only just returned for pre-season training, so I have to wonder about the report that claims Arsene Wenger is planning to fast track the pair into the squad to face Liverpool next weekend. Is it really worth the risk of losing one or both of them for a spell by playing them before they are ready?

Of course we want to get off to a good start and are already going to be without both first choice centre backs Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny as well as our main centre forward Olivier Giroud, but it is just one game and three points at stake.

With our final couple of pre-season games coming up tomorrow and Sunday, the boss has his last chance to look at his options before the season begins, so if he is planning to use Ramsey or Sanchez I guess we will soon find out. Do you think it would be right to risk them?


Tags Alexis Ramsey Sanchez


  1. Arsenal_Girl says:

    For Ramsey in central midfield, we already have Xhaka, Coquelin, Cazorla, Wilshere (injured though)
    But i have a suspicion that Wenger wants to use Ramsey on the Right like last season and Theo up front instead of Akpom

    As for Alexis, as long as he has healed up and sufficient rest, he is always needed as he is our best attacker

    Personally, i would bench Theo (poor performances) and Ramsey (not really needed atm). Play Alexis, iwobi, campbell, Akpom
    Even if we get Mahrez/Lacazette there may not be enough time for them to start 1st match

    1. That’s why am so desperate for the mahrez signing because it will leave no room for ramsey in the first eleven.

      1. josh37 says:

        Doubt the flashy blonde one at your own peril!!

  2. davidnz says:

    No need to risk anybody.
    Arsenal has two top class
    players in every position.

  3. ThirdManJW says:

    Alexis yes, Ramsey…an easy no! I say this because for eight years, Ramey’s only had one good season. Also, I only have him as 6/7th choice in central midfield when everyone’s fit. Xhaki, Coquelin, Elneny, Santi, and Ozil, are all ahead of him based on performances. It’s between himself and Wishere for that sixth spot. Don’t even go there about having him on RW!

    Because Ramsey’s had too many opportunities, and being so far down the pecking order, it’s a no brainer to cash in on him now. Given his performances in the Euro’s, his age, experience, and he’s a homegrown player, we could get £40/50 million for him in today’s market. If money’s so tight as Ivan says, and if valuations are crazy as Wenger says, then selling players that shouldn’t be anywhere near the starting XI, for big bucks, surely helps resolve this problem.

    1. Finally someone with sense..

    2. josh37 says:

      It’s not really that simply though….
      When you look at that list of midfielders they’re all very different players. They all have very different traits but by far our most successful partnership was Santi and Coquelin (during which, we took more PL points than any other team in 2015). This is both a strength and a weakness as if a successful partnership is found with any of the combinations there’s no-one who can really step in as a like-for-like replacement but it does give more room for tactical diversity.
      The only two midfielders you’ve mentioned who are capable of dictating the play, tempo and basically running the show from deep are Santi and Xhaka. I personally think this is why Santi was dropped into a deeper slot in the first place as our play was lacking fluidity.. And put Coquelin next to him.. Well, because he’s a beast and together they formed a great partnership.
      But I really, really, really rate the Xhaka signing as it gives us the opportunity to have Cazorla’s intelligence in distribution mixed with Coquelin’s physical presence. The biggest thing I think that offers is whoever partners with him can shift a little further up the pitch. Whether that be Coquelin’s great knack for reading the game and be more aggressive in winning the ball in dangerous positions, Cazorla being back involved with that sexy, sexy Alexis, Ozil, Cazorla triangle that flat out tore through some teams (oh hell yeah, it’s back!!) or it even may see the more free, yet strangely more disciplined role that Ramsey played when looking like the Welsh Zeus as the Euros or in 13/14 while paired with Arteta………..

  4. Jansen says:

    Rushing these guys back is never a good thing and has backfired in the past many times. Having said that for both players it has been more than one months since their last game. So depending on the circumstances of the game, and the fitness level with which they returned, perhaps we can give Sanchez 20 minutes at the end of the game if we need him (either because we are 1-0 down or we are in a draw with a chance to win).

    btw: to me the Liverpool game is not “just one game”, it might be a game against a top 6 opponent which we don’t want to lose. (Of course this does not make it worth risking an injury like it would be in a CL final or other make it or break it game).

  5. rkw says:

    the man should be rushing around himself strengthening his first 11 … we cant outcompete ffing leicester city anymore thanks to the lost decade under wenger … pathetic … he is just going to have to bite the bullet and spit out 90m for drexler and lacazette who he could have bought for half that a couple of years ago but was blinded by the dazzling skills of giroud and walcott aka the little and large of the football world

  6. Arsenal_Girl says:

    I just realised Cazorla is doubtful for Liverpool
    I would play Xhaka and Coquelin at the back of midfield
    Hope that Gabs and Chambers or Holding can cope with CB positions

    If everyone were healthy and ready this would be our best 11

    But the Liverpool match may look like this


    We desparately need:
    1. Lacazette
    2. Mahrez or Draxler
    3. Experienced CB

    1. rkw says:

      u might be right … we are looking at a mid table team there

  7. goonerboy says:

    Yes, because Wenger is always right….

  8. ruelando says:

    Both players have had enough rest, so its not a gamble to gradually bring them back into the squad for the two games left on preseason. It will be left to how high or low there fitness level for them to be involve in the opener.

    I see Xhaka and Coquelin as our starters in the middle for the liverpool game, i would love Cazorla in the number 10 role, but that is left to the manager, but let us see what our manager has planned

  9. Fatboy Gooney says:

    I’m all for risking Ramsey ? But not Sanchez, he should have been rested for another week at least, especially after just recovering from a very bad swollen ankle.

  10. ArsenalDave says:

    I hope we play both Xhaka and Elneny in CM this season, It would be a bit like the Vieria Petit combination, both defensive minded players who are good attackers breaking up opposition play then starting attacks. It will allow our Ozils, Sanchezs and Ramseys etc to attack with the handbrake off 😀

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs