Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger surprised by Alexis Sanchez

Arsene Wenger was surprised by Alexis Sanchez's fitness levels following his return to training this week

Arsene Wenger admits that he was surprised by what good shape Alexis Sanchez was in following his return to Arsenal this week.

The Chile international joined up with his team-mates on Tuesday after enjoying an extended summer holiday following his involvement in the Copa America last month.

Sanchez is not expected to be fit to feature when Arsenal get their Premier League campaign under way against West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

However, Wenger has revealed that the forward could be back in action sooner than expected after he arrived back at London Colney in top physical condition.

Wenger told a news conference on Friday morning: “He came back in surprisingly good shape. I will see [when he is ready to play].

“It is about my decision. Will he not be involved at all on Sunday? I don’t know yet. It depends a little bit on what I see [in training on Saturday] and who will be available.

“Alexis understands perfectly well. He is one of the players who played the World Cup [in 2014], came back here and played the whole season without a break, goes to the Copa America and basically cannot start the season.

“At some stage you need to give these players a rest or they get serious injuries.”

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Sanchez endured a gruelling debut campaign in England after joining Arsenal from Barcelona last summer, helping Wenger’s men finish third and retain their FA Cup crown before his involvement in the Copa America.

Arsenal beat Chelsea 1-0 to win the Community Shield last weekend.

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