Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed Alexis Sanchez is so motivated for the north London derby match against Tottenham Hotspur that his Arsenal teammates urged him to "take it easy" during the training session on Thursday 25 September.
Having being left on the bench by manager Arsene Wenger during their last Premier League game against Aston Villa, Sanchez looks desperate to secure a spot in the line-up for the Tottenham game on Sunday 28 September.
Even though the Chilean international played in the Capital One Cup elimination to Southampton on Tuesday 23 September, where he scored from a free kick, Oxlade-Chamberlain said he was training harder than any other player.
"Alexis and Jack [Wilshere] played 90 minutes the other day and they're usually on second-day recovery. But today, Alexis really wanted to train and people had to tell him to take it easy," the England international revealed.
"That just sums up how much everyone wants to be around the squad and training, and I think he knew we had a massive game coming up this weekend and, as a new boy, it's good that he does know that."
With Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Sanchez and Oxlade-Chamberlain available to play, Wenger has a big dilemma when it comes to picking his midfielders to play behind striker Danny Welbeck.
"Obviously everyone else that's been here and been involved in a north London derby knows how big it is, so that just proves the intensity goes up in training and everyone just wants to be around and pushing for a start," Oxlade-Chamberlain said.
Meanwhile, the midfielder revealed his teammate Carl Jenkinson, who is on loan at West Ham, will also miss playing in the north London derbies this season.
"He's Arsenal's number one fan and he's always asking me what the boys are doing," Oxlade-Chamberlain said.
"Jenko always loves playing against Spurs. He was saying to me the other day: 'I don't usually get too nervous playing for Arsenal but when it came to Spurs I was so nervous,' and that's because he knew how much it meant to the club, the supporters and himself.
"When I was injured and watching it, it was nerve-wracking, but when you're in the heat and on the pitch, you don't really have a chance to think about it. But then, come the final whistle, the three points does taste that little bit sweeter when it's winning against Spurs."