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.

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.