Alexis Sanchez to miss start of Arsenal season after Copa America - return date scheduled in

The Gunners' forward scored the winning penalty in a shoot-out against Argentina in the Copa America final

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The Independent Online

Alexis Sanchez looks almost certain to miss the start of the Premier League season after being given time off by Arsenal after his Chile side endured extra-time in the Copa America final before eventually overcoming Argentina in a penalty shoot-out.

Whilst most players have been enjoying the summer break, Sanchez has been among the South American footballers taking part in the Copa America tournament in Chile.

Prior to the competition, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger warned that should the hosts reach the latter stages, Sanchez would not be available at the start of the season for the Gunners.

Asked what would happen if Chile went deep into the competition, Wenger said: "That is not good news (for Arsenal) because they (Chile) finish very late and if they go very far, he will miss the start of the season."

As it was, Chile won the first major tournament in their nation's history, with Sanchez scoring the winning penalty after no goals in 120 minutes against Argentina. The former Barcelona player played in all six matches at the tournament.

It's understood that the 26-year-old has been given three weeks off and will report for training in July 27 - less than a week before the Community Shield match against Chelsea at Wembley.

The rest of the squad are meeting up this week, meaning Sanchez will be behind in his preparations and unlikely to feature at Wembley.

The Premier League starts for Arsenal on Sunday 9 August against West Ham, for which Sanchez could be named on the bench but seems unlikely to appear in.


Wenger will be wary of the need for Sanchez to take a break considering the former Barcelona player has featured in 76 games since last April.

After Germany won the World Cup last summer, Lukas Podolski, Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil were allowed an extended period of time off.