Wenger: Rest makes Alexis tired

The Gunners boss said the physical complaints of other players made it impossible to replace the Chilean, but revealed he had a different solution to the problem

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger joked that rest makes Alexis Sanchez tired, after the forward played the full 90 minutes in the 3-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb. 

Wenger has repeatedly suggested that the Chile international is close to the red zone this season, the level of strain that increases the likelihood of injury, but the former Barcelona man is yet to be rested.

After the 3-0 win over the Croatian champions, in which Alexis scored the third goal, the Gunners boss indicated that problems for Olivier Giroud and Hector Bellerin prevented him from taking the 26-year-old off. 

“A break makes him tired,” Wenger joked after the match.

“Giroud had a little problem on his ankle over the weekend, I decided to give him a breather. Hector Bellerin had a groin problem just before. Of course then I couldn’t take Sanchez off.”

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Despite suggesting that he could not substitute Alexis, Wenger indicated that he tried to give the forward some rest while on the pitch, moving him centrally and asking him to do less tracking back.

“I would have loved to rest Sanchez tonight but I had two different options – once it was 3-0 you don’t need him to track back,” Wenger added.

“When you put him central he can spare a little energy up front. It’s not like on the flank, where you have to go up and down.

“I tried to compromise a bit, rest him a bit and give a breather to Giroud.”

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