Arsene Wenger has dismissed suggestions that Alexis Sanchez has returned to Arsenal this season fat and out of shape.
The Arsenal manager even revealed Sanchez’s body fat percentage to play down accusations the Chilean attacker’s appetite to move away from the club has seen him neglect his usual professional standards.
Having played poorly for Chile in a 3-0 World Cup qualification loss to Paraguay, a game played hours after it was confirmed Sanchez would stay at Arsenal this season, former Chile Under-20 coach Jose Sulantay said Sanchez looked “fatter than normal” and “totally out of physical shape”.
“I saw him gone, I saw him out of physical shape, totally,” Sulantay told Chilean paper La Cuarta.
“He’s fatter than normal. Without his spark, he never left that Paraguayan defence behind. He never made a diagonal run, it was something else. It was not Alexis.”
Sanchez was not deemed fit enough to start for Arsenal in Saturday’s win over Bournemouth, but Wenger denied that the player has put on weight.
“He is not fat,” Wenger said. “His fat percentage is under ten, so that’s not fat, but you know how it is when you don’t win, people find every problem for you.
“He was not completely physically ready to start three games in a week and certainly for Chile he was not completely ready as well.
“He is disciplined, serious and committed. He is focused. He told me he is focused on the Premier League and Europa League.
“On top of that Chile had a bad experience, but he came back full of desire and was ready to play.”
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