REUTERS – Alexis Sanchez has been compared to a hunting lion by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who says he is amazed by the Chile forward’s resilience and powers of recovery.
Sanchez, Arsenal’s joint top scorer this season alongside Olivier Giroud, has lit up the Premier League with a series of eye-catching performances since signing from Barcelona last season.
He scored two and set up the third in the Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday and, according to Wenger, is likely to recover in time to play against Norwich City in the Premier League on Sunday despite tweaking his hamstring in midweek.
“His resistance is remarkable,” Wenger was quoted as saying by the club’s website (www.arsenal.com).
“When he does something he does it 100 percent. He finishes and you think, ‘He’s dead now’. But then he recovers and gives 100 percent again. So you always see signs of exhaustion but it’s not that because two days later he’s fine.
“His style is very explosive and very committed. (Leicester City’s Jamie) Vardy is a bit similar. They are like the lion. He has to catch the animal in the first 200 metres. They are these kind of killers. When they go, it is to kill and after they have to stop.
Sanchez has already made 23 appearances for club and country this season and Wenger has been asked week-in and week-out whether he is planning to rest the Chilean to avoid him burning out before the end of the season.
“I take information, especially from medical people who know him and treat him everyday. After that we will look at his overall recovery as well, but overall when there are alarming signs we want to make the right decision at the right moment,” the Frenchman explained.
“As long as the guys are in confidence, they score goals. It is always difficult to rest them.
“What is also remarkable is that he goes to South America, he comes back Thursday night and on Saturday he can play without a problem even if he’s jet-lagged. He would have been a perfect tennis player.”
Arsenal travel to 16th-placed Norwich hoping to get their title challenge back on track following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat away to West Bromwich Albion, which saw them drop to fourth in the table, two points adrift of leaders Leicester City.
(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru. Editing by Patrick Johnston)