Arsenal may be on an impressive nine-game unbeaten run in the Premier League, but fans have come to expect bad news in November. Under Arsene Wenger, they’ve seen plenty of campaigns stutter during the 11th month of the year.
And, with injury news regarding Hector Bellerin, Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez emerging during the international break, the Gunners faithful will be concerned the curse has returned in 2016.
Now, with Bellerin having already been ruled out until December and Giroud’s fitness once again a question mark, Wenger has shed some light on the issue affecting Sanchez whilst on national team duty with Chile. It’s unlikely to ease the tension at the Emirates.
Sanchez missed Chile’s World Cup qualifying game against Columbia on Thursday evening after picking up an injury during training with his international teammates.
It had been reported that it was a calf strain that was causing both Chile manager Juan Antonio Pizzi and Wenger a headache. However, speaking in comments relayed by The Times, the Arsenal manager revealed a text message he received on Wednesday night highlighted a different issue.
“I got a text last night [to say] that he has a hamstring injury,” Wenger told beIN Sports.
“The team from Chile has travelled without him and they kept him to try and get him fit to play Uruguay for the second game on Tuesday night.”
Even after learning of Sanchez’s fitness concerns earlier in the week, Arsenal fans had remained hopeful that the issue wasn’t anything to worry about long-term seeing as the 27-year-old had remained with his national side.
However, news that it is a hamstring injury rather than a calf strain that is keeping the Arsenal star out will raise the alarm bells.
Sanchez missed around one month of action last season with a hamstring injury and, as we’ve seen so many times in the past, the muscle issue can linger for weeks.
With that in mind, Wenger seems increasingly desperate for the Arsenal medical staff to take a look at their in-form star.
“I believe that with a hamstring injury we have to get access for our medical staff to the MRI scan to see what grade it is, how bad it is,” he explained.
“And make absolutely sure they don’t make any suicidal decision that could harm his future for two or three months.”
The veteran Gunners boss isn’t exactly convinced that Sanchez himself will accept he has to rest his injury, despite the important run of fixtures Arsenal are about to embark upon.
“We have to preserve the health of Alexis Sánchez. He always wants to play and that’s where it is a more sensitive case because he’s always ready to play even when injured.”