Arsene Wenger has admitted he is worried about the fitness of Alexis Sanchez, but says he is unable to rest the “jaded” forward.
Sanchez played in both of Chile’s World Cup qualifiers during the international break, despite a slight calf problem, but he has not scored since October 17.
Wenger knows that the player is due a break after playing 50 times for Arsenal last season on the back of the 2014 World Cup. He then helped Chile win the Copa America in the summer before having a brief break and returning to action with the Gunners.
Sanchez claimed this week he was fighting fit, but with injuries to Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey, Wenger’s hands are tied.
“I am worried because when he went to Chile he was already a bit jaded and we will have to test to see how he is when he gets back,” said Wenger.
“But speaking to the player, if I ask him: ‘Are you tired?’ you can guess the answer.”
“At the moment I am a bit short because with no Chamberlain, no Ramsey, no Walcott, no [Jack] Wilshere, no [Danny] Welbeck, there’s not much offensive positions where I can rotate,” Wenger added.
“Chamberlain had a slight little setback on Monday but we checked by scan and there is nothing wrong. He is still a fraction short for Saturday.
“Ramsey had a deeper hamstring problem than Chamberlain but no setback. He will be back in full training on Monday and can play on Tuesday and Chamberlain I think against Norwich [next weekend].”