Alexis Sanchez: Arsenal striker told Arsene Wenger has no hierarchy

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Wenger 'nothing calculated' about Sanchez selection

Arsene Wenger says Alexis Sanchez is close to full fitness but the striker will have to earn his place because there is "no hierarchy" at Arsenal.

Sanchez was close to joining Manchester City this summer and has yet to play 90 minutes in the league this season.

The Chilean sat out Sunday's draw at Chelsea but played all of Wednesday's Carabao Cup win over Doncaster.

Sanchez missed the start of the season through injury but manager Wenger said: "You could see he's coming back sharp."

The Frenchman added: "He came back not really fit and then he got injured.

"If you add the injury plus the rest time it was a bit long, but on Wednesday night I left him on the pitch for 90 minutes because I wanted him to have a real go."

Asked if Sanchez was central to his plans, Wenger said: "Not more than any other. There is no real hierarchy.

"I used the team at Chelsea who could be strong on the counter-attack and fight very hard. Sanchez could have played if he was 100% fit from the start.

"I have six or seven strikers but if I go in one game with three strikers, the three who have not played will play in mid-week no matter what game that is. But that is nothing calculated.

"There is no disguised attitude on my side."

Wenger substitutes Sanchez during Arsenal's 4-0 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield in August
Wenger substitutes Sanchez during Arsenal's 4-0 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield in August

The Gunners, who are 12th in the Premier League, face West Bromwich Albion at Emirates Stadium on Monday night, but will be without Danny Welbeck who has been sidelined for at least three weeks with a groin injury.

Wenger will, however, be able to select his record £50m signing Alexandre Lacazette, who he believes has settled in well, even if he must still adjust to the Premier League's physicality.

He said: "'He connects well with the other players, he's disciplined, he works hard for the team. On the tactical and technical aspects I'm very pleased.

"He still needs to adapt to the physical aspects of the Premier League and that will take maybe a little bit of time."

Monday's game will see defender Kieran Gibbs face his former club for the first time since leaving north London to join the Baggies last month in a £7m move.

Wenger confirmed that Arsenal did not offer the 27-year-old a new deal in the summer but said: "It will be strange to see him in a different shirt because he is a player who has been educated here from a very young age.

"I am sure that he will have great motivation and will have a huge influence at West Brom, and it can give another push to his career."

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