According to a report in the Independent, Arsenal are seriously considering giving forward Alexis Sanchez a winter break in order to avoid potential burnout later in the campaign.
Moreover, the World Cup 2018 qualifiers are underway in South America, meaning Sanchez is travelling back and forth over the Atlantic almost on a monthly basis.
The argument for not handing the player a winter break is simple – Arsene Wenger’s men are a much better team with him than without, and the festive period throws up a number of games.
The Gunners are very much in the Premier League title race, and their hopes of taking the crown could ultimately come down to the results picked up just before the turn of the year.
However, not allowing him to have a break could, in contrast, prompt fatigue and a resulting drop in form towards the business end of the season – a potentially catastrophic scenario.
Considering their fixtures over the festive period, Arsenal may not have a better opportunity to hand Sanchez a well-deserved rest, and those two weeks could make all the difference.
Following matches against Manchester City [Dec 21] and Southampton on Boxing Day, the Gunners have two home games against Bournemouth and Newcastle United, plus an FA Cup third round clash, before a return to Premier League action against Liverpool on January 13.
With all due respect to both Newcastle and Bournemouth, Arsenal certainly could have had more daunting fixtures to finish the year, and it represents a glorious opportunity for Sanchez.
There are 18 days separating Boxing Day from the North Londoners’ trip to Anfield on January 13, sufficient time for their star player to recharge his batteries and come back fresh for the challenge which awaits.