Arsene Wenger believes that Alexis Sanchez’s absence gives Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a chance to impress in Singapore.
The Chile forward did not travel with the tour squad due to his involvement in the Copa America, and Wenger has urged Oxlade-Chamberlain to use this as opportunity to stake a claim for a regular starting place.
“Alex played the first 20 games last season and was after that injured, so he is of course one of the regular players in our team,” the manager said.
"It is a good opportunity for him because he is not injured. Pre-season will be very important for him"
“He is not directly always in competition with Alexis because he plays more on the right side than the left, but it is a good opportunity for him because he is not injured. Pre-season will be very important for him.”
Wenger confirmed that Alexis is likely to miss the first game of the season, but he expects the forward to return to his best faster than most players.
“He will be back on August 3 and it usually takes three weeks to be competitive,” the manager said. “He will miss certainly the first game of the season but with Alexis, it takes a little bit less.
“When he had to turn up in the final [of the Copa America], he was there,” added Wenger. “He was the one who was dangerous, he was the one who was always
provoking opponents, and he was the one who had the guts to take the final penalty to win the cup.
"He contributed to his country’s achievement and it’s something special that they’ve done. He was a big part of it.”
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