Chilean striker ‘in a very difficult mindset’ after defeat by Brazil – Arsene Wenger to make late decision on whether he faces Watford
ALEXIS SANCHEZ looked a ‘happy chappy’ as he limbered up with the Arsenal squad for Saturday’s teatime showdown at Watford.
There were fears that the striker returned from international duty with Chile carrying a minor niggle.
But the unsettled hitman looked full of the joys of spring at London Colney.
Chile’s defeat by Brazil ko’d Sanchez’s hopes of making next summer’s World Cup finals.
He only returned from South America in time for training on Friday and Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger must discover what sort of state of his mind is in.
Wenger hinted during his press conference that he would make a late call on Sanchez.
He intended speaking to the player face to face to assess his fitness and his mental state.
Said Wenger: “He is in a very difficult mindset.
“Sanchez is 29 at the end of the year, so the next one [World Cup] he will be 33. He expected to go. It’s certainly a big disappointment for him.
“I have no doubt that he wants to perform. He never goes on the football pitch to lose a football game, never. Sanchez is a winner type.
“I watched the game with Brazil, what a physical game it was. He played against Dani Alves, that was a real battle, believe me. It’s worse to watch.
“You want your players to be in a positive mind, and as well to have positive experiences.
“To go to the World Cup is the target of every single player who plays football.
“You have in every generation a player who carries the pressure of expectation of a nation… on Chile it’s Sanchez.
“Overall what does it mean? It means they have to deal with the lows as well.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirms he remains upbeat on Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez contract talks
“They have to take both the positives and the negatives.”
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Should he not start, then it could be that Danny Welbeck gets the call alongside Alex Iwobi and behind Alexandre Lacazette.