Arsene Wenger has admitted he’s concerned about the impact of another summer tournament on Alexis Sanchez. He played at the World Cup in 2014, and last summer helped Chile to victory in the Copa America.
This summer there’s another Copa to mark the centenary of the tournament, meaning Sanchez will be away once more rather than having as much time off as we might like.
The manager was asked if he was concerned the physical effects of that might influence his performance, he said, “It had an impact on him this season. Because of course Chile won it as well so after a big achievement like that you always have some decompression.
“And I think he suffered physically this season from that.”
The club do have to take some of the blame for that though. We knew he was going to be away and could have given him more time off to relax and have a more gradual pre-season, but instead our injury problems and lack of transfer market activity saw him back into action on the opening day of the season.
If there’s a lesson to be learned it’s that international tournaments don’t take into account a player’s club commitments, so it’s up to the clubs themselves to build squads that can cope.