Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Alexis Sanchez will return to the Arsenal squad to face Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday.
Sanchez has missed the opening two games of the season as he builds up his fitness since picking up a muscle injury.
But having been without their 28-year-old talisman, Wenger has revealed that Sanchez will travel with the squad to Merseyside.
The Frenchman said at his pre-match press conference: ‘The early team news is that [Laurent] Koscielny is back for selection and Sanchez has worked very hard to be back again and he is available as well.
‘He is working hard, is focused and is giving everything. It’s always difficult to stop him. He looks ready, he’s not played for a long time.
I have to decide what to do with him, but he’s ready to play.
‘We have to make that decision [on whether to start Sanchez]. It’s Thursday today, that match is on Sunday.
He’s worked very hard and he looks in good shape.’
While Sanchez’s return will undoubtedly boost the North London club, the subject of his future was again raised with the Chilean’s contract expiring at the end of the season.
But Wenger has played down the current predicament, reiterating his desire for the former Barcelona forward to become a focal point of his side.
‘I want Alexis to stay at the club and be one of the big players of this future. We want to build the team around him.
‘Personally, I want him to commit to the club and for him to be one of the carriers of our team.
‘He’s not too much disturbed by the noises. Players of his level are used to it now.
I’m sure he’s not too bothered by that. He’s always focused, very happy.
‘Just because he goes into the last year of his contract doesn’t mean we don’t have the chance to extend it.
‘We don’t like to look at the individual contracts of everybody. I know every bid we have, of course, but I think the best for us is to focus on Sunday’s game.’
Arsenal head to Merseyside having not won at Anfield since a 2-0 victory in September 2012, and Wenger still made a rueful remark at having dropped points at Stoke last weekend despite ’77 percent possession and a huge number of chances’.
It depends how many players will go.
‘We are on alert in the last few days. Phones ring a bit more often. Sometimes you have to share the work in the last few days.
The last two days are always hectic.
‘I’m happy with the strength of the squad, but I’ve said before we have too many players who have no chance to compete for places, and it is important to give young players the chance who deserve it.
‘If you have too many players already in a confirmed status, they have no chance to play.
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