Arsene Wenger has admitted he rushed Alexis Sanchez back to action following his Copa America exploits, possibly explaining why the Chilean has struggled to make an impact so far this season.
Sanchez was granted extended leave by the Arsenal boss after inspiring Chile to their first Copa America title in the summer.
He missed the 1-0 Community Shield victory against Chelsea, but would find himself playing in their opening Premier League game, a 2-0 defeat to West Ham, the very next week.
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Despite starting six of Arsenal's eight games, the forward has yet to score or create a single goal and, unsurprisingly, fans are starting to take notice of his fading influence.
But Wenger is ready to take the blame for Sanchez's bad form, insisting that he would have ideally given the former Barcelona star a longer rest after his international exploits. The Frenchman also backed him to be back amongst the goals soon.
"I played him very early," Wenger told reporters ahead of Saturday's trip to Leicester City. "I played him before he was fit physically."
"History tells us that it can be difficult after winning a major trophy. But it will come back, I don't worry for Alexis Sanchez."
A key player
Sanchez played a key role in his debut season with Arsenal, scoring 24 goals in all competitions and assisting a further 12. Considering he was still adapting to English football following his £35m move from Barcelona, plenty of fans were backing him to become Arsenal's main striker.
However, the prospect of a 30-goal season seems to have already flown out of the window and, with it, Arsenal's title challenge. If Wenger wants to win his first title since 2004, he will need Sanchez to find his scoring boots very soon.
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