Martin Keown tells Arsenal fans not to worry about Alexis Sanchez’s lack of minutes

Arsenal legend Martin Keown explains why Alexis Sanchez has seen his first-team minutes restricted so far this season

Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez Photo: Alexis Sanchez / Instagram

Martin Keown believes Arsene Wenger is restricting Alexis Sanchez’s minutes as the Arsenal boss puts his prized asset through a late “pre-season” regime.

The Chile international was named on the bench for Arsenal’s last two Premier League games despite the Gunners making a poor start to the 2017-18 campaign.

Sanchez’s omission for last weekend’s trip to Stamford Bridge raised eyebrows before Arsenal produced a dogged performance in a goalless draw with defending champions Chelsea.

The 28-year-old was named in Wenger’s starting line-up for their 3-1 win against Cologne in the Europa League last week.

The former Manchester City target netted an impressive goal to help the north London side to come from behind to beat the Bundesliga outfit.

Sanchez was in the starting XI for Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers in the League Cup on Wednesday night.

Some Arsenal fans have questioned Wenger’s treatment of Sanchez as the former Barcelona star continues to rundown his current Gunners contract.

However, Keown provided a simple explanation for Sanchez’s lack of first-team minutes under Wenger in the opening months of the 2017-18 season.

“Wenger is just managing his minutes. He’s doing his pre-season really,” Keown told the Daily Mail.

“For him, he’s missed a lot of football. He didn’t do a lot of training. I get it.

“Welbeck is now injured, so Sanchez will probably come into that left-hand side role.

“Sanchez is there now, whether he wanted to stay or not. He’s a special player. But he has to take note of what happened with the team against Chelsea. The collective working together was so important.

“Sanchez would have sat on the bench and seen the team doing well without him. It’s a bit of a warning.”

The Arsenal star was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City in the summer but a deal failed to materialise.

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