Arsene Wenger Upset as Alexis Sanchez Misses Arsenal's Preseason Camp in Austria

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJuly 28, 2014

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 28:  Alexis Sanchez of Chile controls the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Brazil and Chile at Estadio Mineirao on June 28, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Arsenal's preseason plans have been dealt a blow with news that Alexis Sanchez will not be able to join up with the squad for their camp in Austria.

Nick Callow of the Mirror writes that Arsene Wenger has disappointingly confirmed the player must obtain a visa before he can join up with the team, so will train on his own in London.

Wenger said, per Callow:

I don’t think Sanchez will come to Austria because he has to go to Paris to get a visa, so he will only go to London Colney on Tuesday and we come back on Thursday, so he will work in London. The real work starts now and then the Emirates Cup this weekend. The problem is our pre-season will be very short; these post World Cup years are a nightmare for us because we have no preparation.

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - JULY 19:  Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger signs autographs for fans as he arrives ahead of the pre season friendly match between Borehamwood and Arsenal at Meadow Park on July 19, 2014 in Borehamwood, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfi
Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Sanchez recently arrived for £32 million from Barcelona and Wenger was hoping to quickly introduce him to his new teammates and integrate him into the Gunners' squad, per Callow.

But this will now have to wait, with Arsenal's German contingent also confirmed as having to miss the first game of the season, against Crystal Palace

However, Wenger did confirm that two other new signings are ready to join Arsenal's tour—Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina from Nice and the exciting £12 million Southampton youngster, Calum Chambers.

The latter is expected to rubber-stamp his move to the Gunners imminently, and Wenger said of Chambers, per Callow:

He can play at centre-back, right-back and central midfield. I hope he will give us competition for the players in this three positions. He hasn’t played many games, no, but the English players on the market in England are very expensive and at the end of the day I was ready to take a gamble because he is a player for the future.

BURTON UPON TRENT, ENGLAND - MAY 29:  Calum Chambers of England U19 pushes forward during the Uefa U19 Championship Elite Round match between England U19 and Ukraine U19 at Pirelli Stadium on May 29, 2014 in Burton upon Trent, England.  (Photo by Tony Mar
Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Despite the difficulties of a World Cup summer, Wenger has quietly strengthened his squad with little fuss or fanfare.

The 25-year-old Chile superstar Sanchez arrives after a strong campaign in La Liga last year despite Barca missing out on major silverware.

The forward hit 19 goals in the Spanish top division and the Champions League in 43 appearances for the Catalan club, per, also providing 11 assists. He also added to his reputation in Brazil, scoring twice for his country on their way to the knockouts. 

Despite Sanchez not being an out-and-out striker, Michael Wade of the Mail Online believes Wenger should consider playing him in a false-nine role, so successfully implemented by Germany at the recent World Cup.

The manager is still short of options in the striker position and Wade believes the system could bring success, with Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott integrated.

Wade said:

The need for more depth up front is crucial if Arsenal are to mount a proper challenge for the Premier League title. Giroud shouldered the responsibility well last season, scoring 16 league goals, but that burden must be shared if Wenger's side's challenge are not going to fall away at a crucial stage of the season again.

A serious option for Arsenal is to employ a false nine, an interchangeable forward threat that would allow Wenger to really maximise the players in his team.

Indeed, the false-nine system seems the best option for Wenger at present with the youth of Yaya Sanogo not giving the French coach a top-level alternative in the Premier League to compliment Olivier Giroud.

Sanchez is the perfect foil to come from deep and give Giroud the support he will require in the next campaign.

There is little doubting how good Sanchez is and it is no surprise Wenger is disappointed to have a host of his stars not available as he prepares his squad for a fresh assault on silverware.

If Arsenal can find a way of utilising Sanchez's power and pace within their current system, title glory is a real possibility in 2014-15.