Arsene Wenger says Alexis Sanchez doesn't need to rest

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Football News

Arsene Wenger has insisted that Alexis Sanchez does not need a rest as he is showing no signs of fatigue in Arsenal's rigorous fitness tests.

The Chilean took plaudits after another impressive display as he scored to help the Gunners into the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over Hull City. Sanchez worked tirelessly in a central role, but may not have started the game at all if Wenger had gone with his instincts.

After a hectic Christmas fixture list, many expected the Arsenal boss to make sweeping changes to his line-up. Wenger admits he was "tempted" the drop Sanchez in the repeat of last year's FA Cup final, but saw no reason after he passed a fitness test with flying colours.

"Sanchez recovers very quickly and he doesn't look in our tests to have any fatigue problem."

Confidence & fitness

Sanchez scored his 16th goal of the season in what has been a hugely impressive start to his Arsenal career since arriving from Barcelona in the summer. Wenger says that Sanchez's success is not only down to his superior physical fitness but his confidence.

"You look at the players who have that confidence and you are torn between when a player is that confident to keep him on playing or give him a rest, but when the players are confident it is important to keep them going, especially when they have that physical potential," Wenger told reporters.

Combination play

"Sanchez recovers very quickly and he doesn't look in our tests to have any fatigue problem."

"He has a good combination of what you want to see from top players - that means being ready for a fight and talent."

Walcott's return

The performance of Theo Walcott was not as impressive as Sanchez's but a lot more significant. It was the forward's first start since rupturing cruciate ligaments in the same tie a year ago against Tottenham Hotspur.

Walcott made several good runs but also wasted chances in what was an excusably rusty display. For Wenger, the performance was a positive one.

He said: "Theo lacks a bit of competition, but that will come. What he has done (against Hull) after being out for a year is quite positive."

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Alexis Sanchez
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