London, Jan 11: Without elaborating on why he relegated star forward Alexis Sanchez to the bench during the 0-0 draw at Chelsea, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insisted he still hopes the Chile international will stay at Arsenal for the rest of the football season.
“I don’t have to justify every decision I make, you know. I made over 1,000 games and over 1,000 teams and I got it every time wrong, but I have to make a decision,” Wenger was quoted as saying by espnfc after Wednesday’s match.
“I want him to stay for longer because he’s a very important players for us. When he came on tonight, you could see that he created straight away danger.
“We have to accept as well when you play so many games and Sanchez plays every game that sometimes a breather in the middle of the season helps a little bit,” he added.
Amidst speculation of the forward moving to Manchester City, Sanchez was only a substitute to start the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final is close to being finalised.
Sanchez then played the last 25 minutes, and Wenger insisted that his team selection “had nothing to do with the transfer market.”
“People don’t know Alexis well — this is a guy who is completely focused to play football. Have you seen how he came on today, how he warmed up? Like a player who wants to play football,” Wenger said.
“He can make a difference between what’s going on outside and what’s going on the football pitch, with facts, not psychological theories. The fact is when you turn up on the pitch, you play football and you give 100 percent. That’s what he does.”
Jack Wilshere limped off with an ankle sprain during the tie, although Wenger didn’t think the injury was “too bad.”
“He has an ankle sprain, the first look at it was not too bad. But of course for Sunday I think he will be short,” Wenger said.
“How long he will be out, I don’t know.
“It’s a shame to lose him when he’s in such a good form. It was by blocking the shot that turned his ankle. It’s his good ankle so I’m quite positive,” Wenger said.