Sunday Supplement panelist Jeremy Wilson has insisted that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is responsible for Alexis Sanchez’s injury problems.
After an anxious week waiting for the Chilean forward to return from international duty after suffering a hamstring injury in training, Wenger started him against Manchester United on Saturday.
Wilson is adamant that the Arsenal boss needs to manage the 27-year-old better or risks overplaying him and leaving him at risk of picking up serious injuries which in turn will jeopardise the club’s chances of winning silverware this season.
Using Jack Wilshere as an example of when it has gone wrong previously, it remains to be seen whether or not Wenger opts to rotate and rest Sanchez in the weeks and months ahead.
“Wenger, as much as he was warning about Chile playing him, the issue is with him. He’s the one who plays Sanchez all the time. He’s the one who never drops him,” he said, as noted by Sky Sports.
“I think Wenger’s got to be tough and strong with Sanchez for Arsenal’s good. It’s Wenger’s issue – he’s the one who has the player 90 per cent of the time.”
Given Olivier Giroud’s form in recent weeks, there’s a strong argument to suggest that Wenger should now give Sanchez an opportunity to fully recover from any niggles that he might have.
However, on the other side of the argument there will be those who will question Wenger’s decision particularly with such a huge game against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League coming up coupled with a must-win game against Bournemouth next weekend.
The Gunners have lost momentum in the last two league outings with draws against Tottenham and United. Although they were good results on paper, Arsenal were far from convincing and Wenger will need his entire team to step up and not put him in a position where he feels he has to play Sanchez or that the player insists that he can’t afford to be rested.