EXCLUSIVE | By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Alexis Sanchez is set to be rested by Arsenal at the start of the next Premier League season after he helped Chile advance to the Copa America final, Football Insider sources understand.
The 26-year-old will be given a four-week break by Arsene Wenger after the Copa America finishes next Saturday following a gruelling campaign.
He is not expected to report back for pre-season duty until 3 August, just five days before Arsenal start their Premier League campaign with a home clash against West Ham.
Football Insider understands that Sanchez is likely to be rested from the curtain-raiser as Wenger and his staff plan to gradually build up the fitness of the club’s star player. He will also miss the Community Shield clash against Chelsea on 2 August.
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 has subsequently played six international matches and has featured in all five of Chile’s Copa America fixtures on home soil, playing the full 90 minutes in four of the games.
Chile beat Peru 2-1 on Monday night to reach next Saturday’s final, where they will play the winners of the Argentina-Paraguay semi-final.
Arsenal will be aware that Sanchez’s performances levels have noticeably dipped in the knock-out rounds and they will be keen to him suffering from burn-out.