Arsene Wenger: My thoughts on Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez

Arsene Wenger is expecting Alexis Sanchez to hit top form for Arsenal in the coming months

Arsene Wenger believes that Alexis Sanchez is now ready to enjoy a sparkling second half of the season after being afforded his own “winter break” due to injury.

The Chile international started his first game of 2016 on Saturday as he scored Arsenal’s second goal to help the Gunners book their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Derby County at Emirates Stadium.

Sanchez missed the hectic festive period due to a hamstring injury picked up at the end of November but made his comeback as a substitute during last weekend’s 1-0 loss to Chelsea.

And Wenger feels that the talismanic forward is set for a strong end to the campaign as Sanchez bids to help Arsenal win their first Premier League title since 2004.

Speaking at his post-match news conference at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, Wenger said: “[It was his first start] for eight or nine weeks.

“When I saw Derby against Burnley, I had a little hesitation to pick the three [Sanchez, Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny]. But the fact that we played at home, I thought we could manage to get away with it.

“With Alexis, I was not too much worried about on the fitness front because I kept him out two weeks ago and he was already there physically.

“We had some worries about his muscle but today he came through well and you could see that physically, he is ready.

“He had a long rest now. When he got injured, you could see signs of fatigue. I think two months’ rest is a good winter break!”

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Sanchez will be hoping to start when Arsenal host Southampton in the Premier League on Tuesday night.

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