Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed that Alexis Sanchez is still short of fitness despite his all-action display against Crystal Palace.
The Chilean's cross-goal header led to Damien Delaney's own goal at Selhurst Park on Sunday, securing a 2-1 win for the Gunners and their first points of the season. Olivier Giroud had opened the scoring with an acrobatic volley before Joel Ward equalised with a low strike for the Eagles.
Wenger on Sanchez
Sanchez, who missed a great chance early in the first period, was a constant menace to Alan Pardew's side and it was his 'drive' which led to the winner in the eyes of Wenger.
"He brings a drive forward. He brings the pressure on the opponent. He brings goal chances. When it was 1-1 it is no coincidence that he found the header over Ward [and] maybe it’s a typical Alexis goal," said Wenger, according to the official Arsenal website.
"More desire than fitness, he is still a bit short fitness-wise but he is a fighter."
Sanchez joined up late with the Arsenal squad following his involvement at the Copa America with Chile. The 26-year-old was crucial for the hosts as they lifted the trophy for the first time in their history, beating Argentina on penalties in the final.
However, success comes at a cost, with the first group game in early June and final in July. After returning to the Emirates Stadium late, he was given 23 minutes to try and rescue a result against West Ham United last weekend but was unable to help turn a two-goal deficit into a point.
After another week of training, Sanchez was fit to start for the Gunners and looked much more like his old self against Alan Pardew's side. With Wenger's comments in mind, there could still be much more to come this season.
Arsenal fans, will Sanchez be vitally important this year? Let us know what you think in the comments box below.