By Editor

Alexis Sanchez is blaming his performances on being overtrained by Arsenal, Football Insider sources understand.

The Gunners’ star player has failed to hit the heights of his sensational debut campaign following an exhausting schedule over the last 18 months.

Arsene Wenger admitted at his media briefing on Friday that he played Sanchez before he was match fit at the start of the season but is confident the Chilean will soon recover his best form.

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Sanchez has told friends that he feels he needs more of a breather outside of Arsenal’s match schedule in order to be fresh for competition. He would like his training schedule tailored more to his own requirements to allow him to be at his most effective in games.

Sources have told Football Insider that statistics show the Chilean is not making as many explosive runs per game as he was last season.

This has been reflected in his performances, with Sanchez yet to open his account in eight matches in what has been a difficult start to the new season.

Sanchez signed for Arsenal in a £32million transfer from Barcelona after the 2014 World Cup and played 52 matches in an outstanding debut season, scoring 25 goals.

He subsequently played seven international matches, featuring in all six of Chile’s Copa America fixtures on home soil, playing the full 90 minutes in five of the games.

Sanchez returned late to pre-season training but came off the bench in Arsenal’s Premier League opener against West Ham and has subsequently started all six of their Premier League and Champions League matches.

Task master: Wenger has admitted playing Sanchez when he is not fully fit

Task master: Wenger has admitted playing Sanchez when he is not fully fit

Oddly, Wenger also chose not to rest Sanchez in midweek and he was a second-half substitute as the Gunners knocked Tottenham out of the Capital One Cup.

“I played him early, before he was fit physically,” Wenger admitted on Friday. “Time tells us it takes time to settle and come back to your best after winning a trophy. I’m not worried about Alexis and I’m confident he will score.”