Alexis Sanchez will have a prominent role in attack for Inter Milan as an injury to Marko Arnautovic spells an injury crisis.
This according to today’s print edition of Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, via FCInterNews.
So far since joining Inter on a free transfer in the summer, Sanchez has not yet started a match.
The Chilean had his say from the bench in the Champions League against Real Sociedad. Sanchez’s introduction was vital to giving the Nerazzurri a lift as they snatched a point from their group stage opener after a deeply underwhelming performance.
And the former Arsenal and Manchester United man also came off the bench against Empoli over the weekend.
But that was more of a cameo appearance as the team needed an all-hands-on-deck defensive finish to protect their slender 1-0 advantage rather than for the Chilean to inject life into the match.
But soon, there is little doubt that Sanchez will be expected to give Inter more than just substitute appearances.
Arnautovic Injury Thrusts Alexis Sanchez Into Spotlight At Inter
Striker Marko Arnautovic picked up a serious injury in Sunday’s win over Empoli.
The feeling is that the 34-year-old will be out for a couple months with a “medium-grade” thigh strain. That will mean quite a few matches in which he is unable to appear – potentially ten between Serie A and the Champions League.
Inter could be looking at ten matches with only three senior forwards available.
That is hardly adequate for a team who play with two forwards.
Lautaro Martinez has started every match so far in the campaign, but can hardly do so forever. The captain has already shown one or two signs of fatigue.
And Inter will similarly not want to become over-reliant on Marcus Thuram.
Nerazzurri coach Simone Inzaghi can then count on some other solutions. For one, the coach can try out midfielders like Davy Klaassen, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Stefano Sensi as second strikers.
And 19-year-old forward Amadou Sarr should get some call-ups to the senior team after shining in the Primavera.
But the player who will likely have the biggest role to make up for Arnautovic’s absence will be Sanchez.
The 34-year-old will have to start at least a few matches in order to avoid running Martinez and Thuram into the ground.
Last season, Sanchez made 35 Ligue 1 appearances for Marseille 32 of those were from the first minute.
Therefore, there is reason to believe that the former Barcelona forward’s fitness will allow a solid workload.
But it will be up to Sanchez to prove on the pitch that he is up to the task.