Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wenger backs slow-starting Sanchez to bounce back

SoccerNews in English Premier League 25 Sep 2015

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits that Alexis Sanchez has made a slow start to the new Premier League season but remains confident that the attacker will start scoring soon.

After victory over Tottenham in the League Cup snapped a run of two straight defeats, Arsenal face a trip to play in-form Leicester City on Saturday.

Sanchez netted 25 times for Arsenal last term after signing from Barcelona, but he has failed to score in eight games in all competitions so far this season.

Wenger feels his player’s participation for Chile in the Copa America in the close-season has caused his poor opening to 2015-16 and hopes that can start finding the net against Leicester. 

“I would agree [he has had a slow start], said Wenger. “I played him very early. 

“History tells us that it can be difficult after winning a major trophy. But he will come back, I don’t worry for Alexis Sanchez.”

Wenger was impressed by the desire his side showed in the win over Spurs, as well as praising Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri and discussing Mathieu Debuchy’s return to first-team contention.

“I have big respect for him, he is a great manager and a great man,” the Frenchman said of Ranieri.

“We showed how to fight on Wednesday night. The game was about commitment and mental resources which we showed.

“Debuchy is coming back to best. He is mentally very strong and committed to competing with Hector Bellerin.”

Wenger also confirmed the club were still waiting to hear the final decision on Gabriel, who has had his red card from the game against Chelsea overturned but is still facing a charge of improper conduct for his protests against the decision.

“He was sorry about what had happened,” said Wenger. “He is a fighter. In training he was completely focused.”

The manager also confirmed Francis Coquelin would undergo a scan on Friday but is not expecting the midfielder to have anything more than bruising.

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