Ozil, Sanchez showed commitment to Arsenal vs. Everton - Wenger
LONDON -- Arsene Wenger says Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez proved their commitment to the club in the victory at Everton but called on the star duo to replicate those performances "week in, week out."
Wenger was able to start the two attackers alongside striker Alexandre Lacazette for the first time at Everton last Sunday, and they all scored a goal in the 5-2 win -- arguably Arsenal's best performance of the season.
While both Ozil and Sanchez could leave the club next summer when their contracts run out, Wenger said that game made it clear they will keep performing at their best for Arsenal this term.
"What people questioned is their commitment to the team and the club. I didn't, and what happened on Sunday reinforces my belief even more," Wenger told a news conference. "What we want from them is to show that week in, week out."
The front three of Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette are set to start against Swansea, but Wenger said there is still pressure on the trio to keep their starting spots.
"They were very efficient at Everton, they have to be efficient on Saturday. There is no definite solution," he said. "We are in a job where competition counts and if it works, they have to make it work to keep their position."
The Arsenal boss said it was "frustrating" that he had not been able to field his strongest team until now, as Sanchez missed the start of the season with an abdominal injury and Ozil then suffered from a knee inflammation.
Ozil answered critics with a stellar performance at Everton and Wenger said it was clear the playmaker is finally able to perform at his best level.
"He is in very good shape physically, and he is focused, motivated and I would say yes [he is back to his best]," Wenger said.
Arsenal have no new injuries to worry about from either the Everton game or Tuesday's Carabao Cup victory over Norwich, when Wenger fielded a completely different XI.
Teenage striker Eddie Nketiah announced his arrival in that game by coming off the bench to score twice in the 2-1 extra-time win.
While the 18-year-old is unlikely to make the squad against Swansea, Wenger said it is only a matter of time before Nketiah is back on the pitch with the first team.
"He will continue to get a chance," Wenger said. "It's two things: you cannot think that a guy is ready to play in the Premier League straight away because he's scored two goals. He has to continue to develop. But if he's scores two goals, there's some quality there that we have to take care of."
Wenger also dismissed a suggestion by Arsenal great Ian Wright that Theo Walcott should leave the club in search of more playing time, after not starting a single Premier League game so far this season.
"I do not want Theo to move on. His time will come in the Premier League," Wenger said. "You need to look at the number of minutes they've played since the start of the season and that's quite a big number of minutes, but I've gone into a rotation policy because we play on Thursday and Sunday most of the time. At the moment, he has got less minutes in the Premier League than in other competitions."
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.