Date: 6th January 2017 at 1:45pm
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Manager Arsene Wenger has made his decision on Alexis Sanchez and our FA Cup third round tie against Preston North End this weekend.

The Chile international is set to sit this game out and recharge his batteries ahead of the next Premier League fixture against Swansea City the following weekend.

Speaking to the Official Site in his pre game press conference the other day Wenger admitted that Alexis always wants to play but he partly has to ignore that, as he does the questions of why he didn’t play when he gives him a rest, because he has to manage him appropriately given what he can do for us on the pitch.

‘Alexis wants always to play and on one side when I don`t play him, people say ‘why don`t you play him?` and on the other hand I am criticised for using him too much. But I always planned in my head, no matter what happens, that in January he will need a breather.’

Wenger went on to say that it really makes all the sense in the world to give him time off, especially when you factor in the international games he plays and the subsequent travelling he has to do for all that – and again he backs others in the squad to step up and perform in his place even though he’s clearly a special player for us.

‘What we forget is that when they go away for international games they travel to Chile. Then they play sometimes 2,000 miles away, they travel back and then they come here and play the next day again. They are human beings – you have to give them a breather at some stage. Mentally and physically Alexis needs a rest because at the moment he is a bit jaded. You can see that he is tired.’

With him rested for the game, hopefully it’ll do him the world of good and whoever gets a chance in his place really stakes a claim moving forward.

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