Game Details

Alexis Sanchez 'focused' and 'full of desire' to play for Arsenal - Wenger

Arsene Wenger has no doubts about Alexis Sanchez's mindset, despite the Chile international's mixed reception from fans at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Sanchez was on the bench against Bournemouth after a late return from international duty, and was booed by sections of the crowd when he came on as a substitute during the 3-0 win.

The forward made it clear he wanted to leave Arsenal this summer, but a deadline-day move to Manchester City fell apart in the final hours of the transfer window.

But Wenger says that Sanchez is determined to make this season a success.

"He is disciplined, serious and committed," Wenger told Arsenal's official website. "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 [in the international break], but he came back full of desire and was ready to play."

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech echoed that sentiment, and said he has had a conversation with Sanchez to gauge his mood.

Alexis Sanchez saw a deadline-day move to Manchester City break down.

"I spoke with Alexis and he wants to win," Cech told Arsenal's official website. "Some people say, 'He does this, he does that,' but I think he's a guy who plays with all of his passion and all of his heart.

"You could see that in his performance. He knew he came late back, the manager opted not to risk him, put him on the bench so he was ready to come on. He came on and you could see he put a shift in."

Sanchez also faced plenty of criticism back home in Chile after the national team lost two World Cup qualifiers to put them in danger of failing to qualify for Russia.

One of Sanchez's former coaches, Jose Sulantay, even said the forward had returned overweight from his summer holiday, but Wenger rejected that notion.

"He is not fat. His fat percentage is under 10, so that's not fat, but you know how it is when you don't win, people find every problem for you," Wenger said. "He was not completely physically ready to start three games in a week and certainly for Chile he was not completely ready as well."

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.


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