Former player Charlie Nicholas has advised Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger not to play Alexis Sanchez in their upcoming clash with Manchester City, the Daily Star report.
The Chile international has been absent in recent weeks after picking up a hamstring strain in the 1-1 draw at Norwich City, missing Arsenal’s key Champions League win over Olympiakos.
Despite initial diagnostics suggesting that Sanchez would be ruled out for a month, the talented forward is back in Arsenal training and intent on making a swift return to action.
With a key encounter against Manchester City set to take place on Monday, Wenger has a big decision to make, and Nicholas has advised French coach Wenger not to rush him back.
“With Sanchez on the verge of coming back, if he’s not 100 per cent I would not risk him. I would keep Walcott in the team,” Nicholas was quoted as saying by the Daily Star.
Whichever decision is taken by Wenger, it will no doubt be heavily debated by pundits and observers alike after the game – especially if an appearance leads to a further injury setback.
The former Barcelona star has played non-stop football for two-and-a-half years, what with the World Cup and Copa America falling in consecutive summers and Chile performing so well on each occasion.
Sanchez is in need of a rest, and talks of a winter break have circulated around the Emirates Stadium.
However, with Arsenal in the midst of a Premier League title race and the festive period proving such an important phase of the season – can they really afford to play without their best player?