Wenger tells Alexis Sanchez to forget Chile heartache
Arsene Wenger is resigned to Alexis Sanchez leaving Arsenal in the January transfer window.
The striker looked set to move to Manchester City before that deal collapsed on deadline day in August.
Asked on Thursday if selling the Chilean in the next window was an option, Wenger replied: ‘Once you are in our kind of situation, we have envisaged every kind of solution. Yes, it’s possible.’
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told Alexis Sanchez to not dwell on Chile’s World Cup failure but concentrate on winning games for Arsenal
Sanchez and Chile missed out on a World Cup place following a 3-0 loss in Brazil on Tuesday
Wenger said he will speak with Sanchez on Friday to assess his mental state
Sanchez returned to London on Thursday after Chile missed out on a World Cup spot following a 3-0 defeat by Brazil, and the Arsenal manager admitted his star man is in a fragile state of mind.
‘He is in a very difficult place,’ said Wenger. ‘Chile just won the Copa America twice and now they don’t even go to the World Cup.
‘He expected to go and it is certainly a big disappointment for him. Sanchez is 29 at the end of the year, so at the next one he will be 33. You want your players to have positive experiences, and to go to the World Cup is the target of every player.’
Wenger said he watched a re-run of the Chile vs Brazil World Cup qualifier from Tuesday
Sanchez is left grounded by Brazil’s Neymar during Tuesday’s match in Sao Paulo
Premier League unless stated
Saturday Watford (A)
Oct 19 Red Star Belgrade (A) Europa
Oct 22 Everton (A)
Oct 24 Norwich City (H) EFL Cup
Oct 28 Swansea City (H)
Nov 2 Red Star Belgrade (H) Europa
‘Now you must focus on something else and what you can achieve with your club.’
Sanchez missed the start of the domestic season after playing for Chile in the Confederations Cup and has not been at full throttle since, scoring only once in seven club appearances. Last season he scored 30 in 51 games.
Mesut Ozil, in the last year of his contract like Sanchez, has also become increasingly peripheral.
Ozil is fit for Saturday’s game at Watford after a knee injury limited him to seven minutes of action in the last six games, of which Arsenal won five and drew one, at Chelsea.
David Ospina on the floor after touching in an indirect free-kick by Guerrero for the leveller
It has fuelled the theory that the team might be better balanced without Ozil and perhaps the time is right to plan for a future without the two big earners.
Arsenal trained on Thursday without Sanchez. His mental and physical readiness will be considered before the team is selected for Watford.
‘I watched Brazil v Chile and it was a physical game and mentally I will have to assess the situation when he comes back,’ said Wenger. ‘I must say he got some special treatment, the number of fouls. He played against Dani Alves and that was a real battle.’
Having lost to Brazil, Chile’s World Cup dream was ended when Colombia and Peru drew. Peru’s equaliser came from an indirect free-kick which was touched by Arsenal’s Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina on its way into the net.
Without Ospina’s instinctive attempt to make a save, it would have been ruled out. And if Colombia had won, Chile would have taken a play-off spot.
The referee can clearly be seen with his arm raised to indicate an indirect free-kick
But Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina doesn’t realise and dives towards Guerrero’s shot
Ospina gets a hand on the ball but cannot prevent Guerrero’s free-kick from going in
The goal meant that Peru go into the World Cup play-off but Chile fail to make it
‘I don’t think that will be a problem,’ said Wenger. ‘It happens sometimes, the coincidence of the competitions.’
Wenger added: ‘In every generation a player carries the pressure of expectation of a nation. In France it was Zinedine Zidane and in England it was David Beckham. In Chile it is Sanchez.
‘Overall, it means these players have to deal with the lows as well as the highs. Some deal with it better than others. I have no doubt Sanchez wants to perform. He never goes on the pitch to lose, never. Sanchez is a winner.’
Wenger confirmed Shkodran Mustafi could be out for six weeks with a thigh injury suffered playing for Germany.
Wenger (right) is confident Sanchez (left) will give everything while he is still at the club