Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has backed Alexis Sanchez to win the trust of the fans after playing for the Gunners for the first time since his Manchester City move fell through.
The Chile international came on for the final 15 minutes of the 3-0 win over Bournemouth, and a section of the fans were not amused by his entry.
Sanchez, who was the Gunners’ top-scorer last term, received jeers when he replaced Danny Welbeck in the second period, but he nevertheless looked lively with the limited time on the pitch. Shortly after the game, Wenger admitted that Sanchez is fully focused on the job at Arsenal, and he will win back the fans through his performances.
He said: “Alexis Sanchez is very focused on the Premier League and the Europa League and he wants to do well. He is still a bit short physically. He will be quickly back to his best. He will win the fans back, and win them back very quickly.”
The Chile international was on the cusp of joining Manchester City on transfer deadline day but the move was blocked due to the Gunners’ failure to sign a suitable replacement. AS Monaco’s Thomas Lemar had been underlined as the prime target to bolster the ranks, but the Frenchman decided to stay put at Stade Louis II for the time being.
In the meantime, Sanchez was alleged to have put on weight by a former Chile under-20 coach, but Wenger has insisted that the player is in the right shape, although he may not be able to play three games in a single week as he is not fully match-fit.
Sanchez is expected to make an appearance for Arsenal in midweek when they host German club Koln in their first Europa League outing since its inception. The Gunners have previously featured in the old UEFA Cup back in 2000 where they lost out to Galatasaray in the final on penalties.