Wenger explains Sanchez absence

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil missed out on Arsenal’s Community Shield win over Chelsea because of a lack of fitness, Arsene Wenger revealed on Sunday.

Sanchez and Ozil watched from the sidelines as the Gunners beat Chelsea on penalties to lift the Community Shield at Wembley.

And Wenger admitted that the Chilean star, whose future at The Emirates has been the subject of much speculation this summer, faces a race to be fit for their Premier League opener against Leicester on Friday night.

Sanchez only returned to pre-season training last Tuesday after an extended break following the Confederations Cup in Russia.

Quizzed on whether Sanchez, Ozil and the others would play on Friday, Wenger said: "Overall, we will see.

"I left them all out because some are short of preparation like Alexis Sanchez.

"Mesut had a kick on his ankle which was swollen and he couldn't practise yesterday. He has a little chance to play on Friday night.

"[Aaron] Ramsey has a chance but I think he could be short as well."

??? Community Shied Again champions ?????

A post shared by Alexis Sanchez (@alexis_officia1) on Aug 6, 2017 at 8:44am PDT

Meanwhile, Wenger lauded the contribution of new players Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac after impressive showings on their Arsenal debuts.

Lacazette almost scored his first Arsenal goal, hitting the post in the first half with a curling shot.

"Lacazette is stronger every week," Wenger said. "He had an interesting game today. I believe today is the first time that you have seen physically that he is ready.

"He still needs to adapt to the intensity of the game but overall he had very interesting moves and I believe that after what we have seen today he will become stronger and stronger."

Meanwhile Bosnian Kolasinac put in a strong performance after replacing Per Mertesacker, while also scoring the equaliser.

"He came on well. He is normally a wing-back, full-back but he can as well play as a centre-back," Wenger said.

"I had a hesitation about playing him because I thought maybe Wembley with the pressure, but when he came on he was outstanding.

"He is physical very strong, naturally. You have players who are pumped up in the gym and you have players who are born strong. He is the second part.

"In the Premier League the power plays a part but it is not only that. I took him too because of attitude.

"The game does not tolerate as many weaknesses as it did 20 years ago. You need the combination of talent and attitude.

"He looks to me like he has the talent but also has a very strong attitude."

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