Arsene Wenger has revealed that Alexis Sanchez has a “slight chance” of being available for Arsenal’s massive Premier League match with Manchester City on Monday.
The Chilean has missed Arsenal’s last three games with a hamstring injury suffered during the 1-1 draw with Norwich City at Carrow Road, but is back running again.
“Maybe, there is a slight chance for Alexis to be in the squad again but it is too early to be sure about it,” The Guardian quotes Wenger as saying. “He is running but not participating in full training.
“I believe it is normal that he wants to play. You want him to be keen to play. He respects all the decisions I make and that is what I want from him.”
However, the Gunners boss is wary about rushing Sanchez back too soon, and has indicated that he will not trust his talisman’s judgement on his own fitness.
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Asked whether he trusted his players when they said they were fit to play, he replied: “Not all of them,” according to The Guardian. “I don’t mean this in a negative way. Some of them are so keen to forget that they have pain somewhere that they say they are all right, when they are not.
“You know the players and their psychological profile, you take that into account and then you get scientific advice. You trust your gut, as well, and then you make a decision.
“It’s a compliment. You want everybody to absolutely want to play. We have shown again recently with Olympiakos and with Aston Villa that we have fantastic mentality in the team and these players are something special on the human front. I hope that in the longer term, in the championship, that will come out. Will I make the decision rather than Alexis? Yes. Because he says he’s always ready.”
Sanchez made an immediate impact upon arriving at the Emirates Stadium in 2014, in a £35m move from Barcelona – fee reported by BBC Sport. He scored 25 goals in all competitions in his debut season.
The 26-year-old already has nine for this campaign, and keeping him injury free is absolutely imperative to Arsenal’s chances of winning a first Premier League title since their 2003-04 ‘Invincibles’ season
Wenger has already paid the price for gambling on Sanchez’s fitness once. The South American complained of hamstring trouble before Arsenal’s trip to Carrow Road, as The Guardian reports.
Rushing his return in time for City’s visit would be unwise if Sanchez is not ready. The title will not be won or lost on Monday, but it could slip away from Arsenal if the Chilean has another setback.
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