Arsene Wenger has hit out at rumours that Alexis Sanchez's off-field distractions at the start of this season have left him 'fat' coming back to the club after the international break.
Sanchez came off the bench to play the last 15 minutes of Arsenal's comfortable 3-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday, which saw Danny Welbeck and new boy Alexandre Lacazette provide the goals.
An energetic performance gave fans some hope that the Chilean will continue to give his all for the club despite report that he is bitterly disappointed with the collapse of a proposed move to Manchester City - as well as putting some of the rumours about his fitness to bed.
Speaking after the game, Wenger insisted: “No, he’s not fat. His fat percentage is under 10. You know how it is: when you don’t win, people find any problem for you.”
However, the Frenchman then appeared to hedge slightly on his previous statement - admitting that Sanchez remains short of full fitness. “He was not completely physically ready to start three games in one week," he said. "Certainly he was not ready for Chile as well.”
The 28-year-old received a mixed reception when he came on at the Emirates, but his manager insisted that fans should have no fears about his readiness to give his all for the club, saying: “He is focused. He told me he is focused on the Premier League and on the Europa League. On top of that Chile had a bad experience as well. But he came back full of desire and ready to play.”