Arsenal news: Arsene Wenger ready to rest Alexis Sanchez with winter break in effort to avoid burnout

Wenger is concerned that oveprlaying Sanchez will lead to him suffering a long-term injury and will look to give him time off in the coming weeks

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The Independent Football

Arsenal could face the busy festive period without star striker Alexis Sanchez after it emerged that manager Arsene Wenger is keen to give him a winter break in an effort to prevent the Chile international suffering from burnout.

Sanchez has proven to be Arsenal’s most important player this season so far, having scored six times in the Premier League this season along with two goals in the Champions League. With their place in the last-16 for the Champions League already secured, Arsenal still have reason to deploy a full-strength team against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday as they battle the Parisian side for top spot and a supposed easier draw in the knockout stage, with Sanchez expected to lead the line once again.

The 27-year-old has been moved to a central role this season and has flourished as a result, but Wenger has already spoken of his concern that Sanchez could suffer from playing too much football in a short space of time.

According to the Daily Mail, Wenger will look to address this concern by giving Sanchez some extra time off during the winter, despite Arsenal already struggling to keep pace with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.

All three sides have more wins that Arsenal this season, with the Gunners drawing four of their 12 matches this season to see them slip three points behind the Blues. The latest setback saw Manchester United not only come within minutes of victory at Old Trafford on Saturday but also dominate Wenger’s side, and the Frenchman was also fortunate not to see Sanchez suffer any further injury after he returned from international duty with a hamstring knock that left him a doubt for the match until the teams were announced.

It appears that Wenger will rest Sanchez in the coming weeks in an effort to ensure that he remains fit through the crucial run of fixtures in January, February and March, although that will mean that the Gunners are without their first-choice striker heading into the festive period if Wenger decides to leave him out ahead of the new year.

However, should Arsenal beat PSG on Wednesday, they will secure top spot in Group A with a game to spare, and it would mean that Wenger could leave Sanchez at home when the rest of the side travels to Basel for their final group game on 6 December. With Sanchez also unlikely to play in the EFL Cup quarter-final against Southampton next week, it would mean that the Chilean would play four matches in the next three weeks, although that would be followed by three matches in the space of eight days as they take on Stoke, Everton and Manchester City in a pivotal week of Premier League action.

 


That said, Arsenal’s run of fixtures between Boxing Da and New Year’s Day is not as bad as previous seasons, where teams have played up to three matches in the past. Arsenal will take on West Brom on Boxing Day, before enjoying six days off until the visit of Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day.

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