Wenger: No special treatment for striker ahead of Sunderland clash

By Tony Hughes

Arsene Wenger has said that current forward of choice Alexis Sanchez is not a “special case” and will come off the pitch when necessary.

Talking ahead of the Premier League game with Sunderland, Wenger has Olivier Giroud available for selection and re-iterated that Sanchez is just a “player like everyone else.”

The Chilean star has been substituted in the recent wins over Swansea and Ludogorets, but looks set to start again against Sunderland.

Talking in The Mirror, Wenger said, “For me he is not a special case. He is a player like everybody else. When I decide to take him off, I take him off.

“There is no special case. He has his own character but he is not treated differently from everybody else.”

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Giroud will be hoping to make the starting XI on Saturday lunchtime after making a cameo appearance in the EFL Cup game on Tuesday and providing an immediate assist, but all the evidence points to Wenger sticking with Sanchez to lead the line.

“I see him [Sanchez] there [as centre-forward],” Wenger said. “He has a short technique and can always create something. He has a good mixture between scoring and giving the final ball.

“Giroud and Sanchez are completely different, but they can as well play together. I have to move Alexis out as I always have that problem with Mesut Ozil being behind the striker, he can not move much deeper.

“As much deeper you need defensively to work. So one will have to move wide. And if you move one of them wide, it can only be Alexis.

“It is a good option to have. To leave quality players out is tough. But the toughest thing is not to have quality players.”

Arsenal will be looking to capitalise on an early kick-off to move three points clear of their rivals at the top of the Premier League.

In other Arsenal team news, fans react to this goal from Under-23 breakthrough star Chris Willock on Friday night.