Wenger: I need to rest Sanchez…but I can't

The manager fears the winger will burn out over the Christmas period but says the club’s injury crisis means he has to pick him

Arsene Wenger says he wants to rest Alexis Sanchez but can’t because of Arsenal’s injury crisis.

The winger has played 69 matches for Arsenal since joining 15 months ago alongside a busy international schedule for Chile.

Sanchez was given a short leave of absence to sit out Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Singapore after winning the Copa America with his country in the summer.

However, Wenger feels he is now unable to give him the rest his body craves due to the injuries to fellow attackers.

“I am worried because before he went away with Chile he was a bit jaded. But if I ask him ‘are you tired?’ you can guess the answer,” he said.

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“At some point I will give him a break. At the moment I am a bit short because there’s no [Alex] Chamberlain, no [Aaron] Ramsey, no [Theo] Walcott, no [Jack] Wilshere, no [Danny] Welbeck.

“There are not many offensive positions where I can rotate.”

Arsenal, who are level on points at the top of the Premier League alongside Manchester City but adrift on goal difference, play West Brom at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

Wenger said he has given up on examining the league table due to the close proximity of the majority of clubs.

“The difference between the teams has narrowed and today it’s more how much can you be close to your best that will decide the result, rather than the team you play against,” he said.

“In the Premier League now every game is physical, fast, with two totally committed teams – you cannot afford to make a single mistake.”

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