Arsene Wenger believes Alexis Sanchez is now ready to start Premier League games on a regular basis after completing yet another 90 minutes for Arsenal during their Carabao Cup win over Doncaster on Wednesday night (20 September).
The Chilean missed pre-season owing to international commitments in the summer and missed the start of the season due to an abdominal injury. He made his first Premier League start against Liverpool, but has since been used from the bench in the rest of our league games.
Sanchez has had to be content with starts in the Europa League and on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup. Wenger revealed that he was utilised for the full 90 minutes in order to build match fitness and confirmed that he is now ready to get back into the starting XI and his first assignment will be West Bromwich Albion's visit on Monday (25 September).
"For me he needs competition and that's why I left him on the pitch as well. Yes, he should be ready now," Wenger said after overseeing his team's progress into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup, as quoted on Arsenal's official site.
The big positive to come out of a rather subdued performance from Arsenal against Doncaster was the return of Jack Wilshere, who made his first Arsenal start in 493 days. The Gunners midfielder is returning from another spell on the sidelines and played the full 90 minutes against the League One outfit.
The 25-year-old put in a man of the match performance and proved to the manager that he is ready to play more regularly and fight to earn a place in the regular starting XI. Wenger has made it clear that he wants Wilshere to fulfil his potential with Arsenal rather than elsewhere.
The French manager is unsure when he will play next, but his next outing could be the Europa League trip to Bate Borisov. Meanwhile, Wilshere's contract situation still remains a talking point with the midfielder in the final nine months of his deal.
Wenger has indicated that Arsenal are willing to offer him a new deal if he proves his fitness and consistently performs at a high level, but refused to discuss details after the win against Doncaster.
"You see that in his movement it is natural and after that everybody is looking at him because of course everybody expects him to come back to his best and I wish that as well."
"I don't know, I go game by game and we play next week three games, Monday, Thursday, Sunday before the international break, so I will have to make decisions to balance the team and to see who I play and when," the French coach added about Wilshere's next outing and possibility of playing in the Premier League.
"Tonight is not the best moment to speak about that," Wenger said referring to Wilshere potentially being offered a new contract.