Sanchez to miss start of season

Alexis Sanchez is set to miss the start of Arsenal’s season, having been given an extended holiday following his Copa America triumph on Saturday evening. 

Sanchez played a further 6 games for his country since the end of Arsenal’s season, leading them to a first Copa America title in 99 years, where he scored the winning penalty against Argentina to ruin Messi’s chance of winning a major tournament with his country.

This run of games for Alexis follows what had already proved a physically challenging first year in England for the Chilean, where the game is more intense, and he barely missed a kick in a season where there are no Christmas breaks.

Having said that, Sanchez lives to play football every week, and he certainly didn’t look too tired when he sprinted three-quarters of the pitch in the 105th minute against Argentina in the final, only to just miss out on finding the net in what ended up as 120 minute bore-draw.

But Arsene Wenger is renowned for looking after his players, and as Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker were given additional time off following their World Cup heroics last summer, Alexis is set to receive the same treatment this time round from the manager.

The 26-year-old is reportedly due to return to training on the 27th July, giving him less than a week back with the other players before they take on Chelsea in the Community Shield; and just under two weeks before the Premier League season kicks off.

The rest of the Arsenal squad who were not involved in the tournament, returned to training yesterday, as they look to prepare for what will hopefully be a season full of promise, and finally a real title challenge.

Henry: Sanchez can fire Arsenal to title

Thierry Henry believes Alexis Sanchez is the man who can make the difference and win Arsenal the Premier League again for the first time since that famous invincible season, now 11 years ago.

Arsenal legend turned Sky pundit, Henry, believes Sanchez is a ‘match-winner’, but still has room to improve.

“If you’re an Arsenal fan, we were all waiting for that type of match-winner,” Henry told Arsenal.com.

“Look at what he did in the FA Cup final and what he has been doing since his arrival. He has been more than tremendous.

“We want to see that more and more and I know that he has that in his locker. When you have a guy like Alexis Sanchez, it is the X-factor.”

Sanchez has had a very successful first season at Arsenal; scoring 25 goals in his first year is an incredible fate, and hopefully he will push on to even better things next season.

However, if Arsenal are to win the Premier League, they need some more players to come in and help Sanchez, according to Thierry.

“He is the guy who can change the course of a game. I love the way he plays, he plays with his heart and I know the fans love that about him.

“As an Arsenal fan I am very excited about next season and hopefully we can bring some people to the club, some new players maybe but when you have a guy like Alexis Sanchez anything can happen. Hopefully he can fire us to the title next year.”

Alexis Sánchez – To Not Achieve More is Disappointing

Alexis Sánchez helped Arsenal to retain the FA Cup this season, as well as to secure third place in the league, but is left thinking about what could have been after Arsenal’s failure to compete for the Premier League or Champions League.

Arsenal won the FA Cup in dramatic fashion with a 4-0 thumping of Aston Villa at Wembley, and also managed third place in the league, which is a slight improvement on last years fourth, gaining the team automatic qualification through to the Champions League.

But despite this, and a hugely successful first season in England for the Chilean, who bagged 25 goals throughout the campaign, he believes the Arsenal team have the talent to go all the way and win more, bigger trophies.

“It was an OK season, but it was bittersweet,” said Sánchez, who is currently on international duty with Chile ahead of the Copa América.

“I would have liked to have been in the Champions League final, to have won the Premier League title. I believe we have a bunch of skilful players so to not achieve more is disappointing.

“I had a breakthrough in my football life. Now I switch to the left, I make goals, I pass, I am evolving. And if I am put in at centre-forward, I will do it in the best way possible.”

Alexis has proven himself as one of the Premier League’s best signings, settling in so quickly and to do so well in his first year. But now Arsenal must push on and use this momentum to fight for the trophies the Chilean has eluded to.

However, Alexis tailed off a bit towards the end of the season, starting to look somewhat fatigued after last summers World Cup and of course, the amount of games we play in England, not to mention the increased intensity of them all compared to what he is used to.

The 26-year-old is now set to play in the Copa America, where Chile are set to start their campaign against Ecuador this Friday.

As one of the stronger teams in the competition, it is widely expected that Chile will progress to the latter stages of the competition, and this would mean Alexis does not rejoin the Arsenal fold until August, which could result in him missing the earliest part of the season.

Arsene Wenger will surely want to protect the player, and ensure he has a well deserved break before bringing him back into the team, we just must hope he does not suffer a fatigued-induced injury before then.

Why I really joined Arsenal – Alexis Sanchez

Last summer Arsenal fought off competition from Liverpool to sign Chilean star, Alexis Sanchez, from Barcelona for £35m.

However it was widely speculated that the reason behind this was to do with a desire to live in London, and evolved around his long-term girlfriend. A rumour spread by Liverpool fans as their club missed out on him and likely born out of envy, as they had just lost Suarez to Barcelona too.

However, we all know Arsenal are preferable in a number of ways other than location. The stadium, the manager, the consistent Champions League football, the fact we had begun to sign quality players rather than sell them, and of course we had just won the FA Cup. The list goes on.

Speaking to BT Sport in an interview that will air during Saturday’s coverage of the final, Sanchez said: “The reason why I moved to Arsenal is because there were a group of young players with the ambition to achieve things.

“I thought that Arsenal was the perfect club for me, the perfect club to win titles and compete in every competition.

“Yes there is a joyful atmosphere in the dressing room,” he told BT Sport.

“Arsenal is a magnificent club and I hope to win many titles here. I’m going to do my very best to help the club achieve success.”

Sanchez is very happy with his first season, but is keen for the team to keep progressing on to greater things.

“It has been a positive season but I have still got ambitions to win more,” he said.

“I would like to be closer to winning the Premier League title and get further in the Champions League.

“Every time I play I do it with the same motivation. I want the team to grow more and to compete in every competition we play.”

The forward is renowned for his impressive work-rate, but he doesn’t do it for the appreciation.

“I don’t really perceive that,” he added. “Every time someone takes the ball off me I feel like I’ve been stripped of my toy.

“When a player takes the ball off me I just want to win it back. That could work as a motivational tool for my team-mates but I don’t think about that on the pitch.”

And like every player signed by Arsene Wenger, Sanchez cites the boss as a key part of him joining the club.

“He is a legend. He is an Arsenal legend,” he said. “You learn from him every day. Sometimes we discuss about things like I would like to train more, and he doesn’t let me! But he definitely looks after me.”

This will naturally be Sanchez’s first FA Cup should Arsenal win, and he understands the history of the competition. A win will see Arsenal have won it more than any other club.

“The FA Cup is a competition with amazing history,” he said.

“Today we watched a video about Arsenal’s previous wins and thanks to the clips I trained with even more motivation. I hope we can win the cup so the Arsenal supporters are happy.”

Unfortunately that’s all we have of the interview so far, but come Saturday it will be intriguing (at the least) to see what he has to say, given a lack of interviews so far this season. 

Sanchez has already won a title for himself this season though, the fans player of the year award.

 

Alexis Sanchez wins PFA Fans Player of the Year

Arsenal star, Alex Sanchez, has won the PFA Fans Player of the Year in his first season in the Premier League. 

At 26 years of age, the Chilean international is certainly in his prime, and showed that this season by settling in to English football immediately.

Boasting a total of 24 goals this season, which includes 16 in the Premier League, he has proved himself as a huge threat in front of goal. But he also has 8 assists in the league, and is renowned for his hard work off the ball and closing opponents down, demonstrating his all-round ability and making it abundantly clear why fans of all clubs appreciate him as a player.

Sanchez joined Arsenal from Barcelona last summer for a fee of £35m, and beat the likes of Eden Hazard and Sergio Aguero to the award.

Here’s to many more of years of awards, Alexis.