English Football Leagues

Wenger gives Alexis Sanchez Time Off after Copa America Performance

Arsenal forward and Chile international, Alexis Sanchez has been permitted to miss the club’s opening game of the Premier League season in order to recover after a tough time representing his country at the hard fought Copa America. A season opener is no small match, but Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger obviously believes that the talented footballer deserves some time away from the gruelling schedule of a top class footballer.

Sanchez won Chilean hearts by scoring the winning penalty shot against Argentina in the finals of the Copa America. He played a pivotal role in all six of Chile’s matches in the tournament, and the final was especially tough since it lasted 120 months. What’s more is that, he also joined the Chilean team straight after the club finished its season. He is currently in the Dominican Republic on a well-deserved holiday while the rest of the team has already reached Singapore as part of their much anticipated pre-season tour of Asia.

Wenger seems quite comfortable with letting Sanchez have an extended break and indicated that the player would only report back to the team in the first week of August. He is unlikely to make the squad as soon as he arrives because he also needs to get back his fitness levels before he can play a match. This would normally take a couple of weeks, but it varies according to the circumstances. Sanchez has done pretty well the previous year and has scored 26 times out of the 58 games that he played for Arsenal and Chile put together.

It is not going to be easy for Arsenal to face league top guns Chelsea for the Community Shield without one of their best players. After all, the 26-year-old forward was one of main reasons that the Gunners were able to put on a solid performance during the latter half of the previous season’s campaign. The match was scheduled for 2 August.

Sanchez will also be absent for Arsenal’s first match of the Premier League, which was against West Ham United on 9 August. However, Arsenal’s outlook for the season looks pretty good. The acquisition of Czech international, Petr Cech has definitely boosted the chances of the club this year. Arsenal has had issues with getting the right goalkeeper and Cech’s transfer from Chelsea to Arsenal was greeted with joy by Gunners supporters and a great deal of surprise from the rest of the footballing world considering that the two clubs have been long term rivals. The performances of Arsenal goalkeepers so far, Columbian David Ospina and Pole Wojciech Szczesny, have left much to be desired.

Wenger has also dismissed any rumours that he is planning to transfer Germany international, Mesut Ozil to Juventus. The 26-year-old playmaker is very much an important part of Wenger’s plans for the coming season, although he has indicated a certain amount of unhappiness at playing for the Gunners. Sanchez’s absence will also give Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a good opportunity to show off what he’s got.

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