Arsene Wenger hopes his decision to give Alexis Sanchez more time off will benefit Arsenal as the Chilean prepares to return to action.
The 27-year-old helped Chile retain their Copa America title earlier this summer after a long domestic season with the Gunners and picked up an ankle injury early in the final victory over Argentina.
Wenger opted against taking the former Barcelona winger on the Gunners’ pre-season tour of the US to give his star player the best chance of recovery ahead of the new campaign.
And, speaking ahead of Arsenal’s pre-season meeting with Manchester City on Sunday, the Frenchman admitted it can be hard to be cautious with Sanchez.
“The problem with Sanchez is to be cautious with him because it’s nearly impossible,” Wenger told a news conference.
“But you know what I did, I gave him a long break because I know that this was needed for him.
“They played two Copa Americas in a row and in England you don’t have a winter break. He got an injury. I know as well that you give Sanchez five weeks holiday, he will stay quiet one week and after he will start to run everywhere, and he comes back fit.
“I hope I got it right, that he had a good rest and regenerated a little bit, because he looks alright. We will see on Sunday.”
Jack Wilshere, who missed Arsenal’s 8-0 victory over Viking FK on Friday, will remain absent for a short time.
“Wilshere has started to run today so it’s very short-term. He will train with us next week,” Wenger confirmed.