Assessing Alexis Sanchez’s Future At Manchester United

There’s no doubt that more was expected of Alexis Sanchez when he joined Manchester United in January 2018.

The Chilean had been a live-wire at Arsenal and had proved himself a very creative and reliable forward in the Premier League.

Yet now seventeen months after his move to Old Trafford his career has virtually come to a standstill.

Injuries and a severe lack of form has seen Alexis play forty-five times for United and only return with five goals. In his thirty-three league appearances the forward has only managed to create six assists. The United faithful would’ve been expecting him to hit double figures in both stat columns in just one season!

The thirty year old doesn’t look the same player as the one that was so instrumental at The Emirates. In truth he looks lost in a Red Devils jersey. It seems as though he’s lost a yard of pace and all of his confidence.

Reports suggest that Man United are willing to cut their losses on the high earner and let him leave for Europe this summer. Earlier this month The Telegraph stated that United were in talks with Roma about possibly loaning Sanchez to the Serie A club.

It’s also been speculated that United have ditched the international attacker to their reserves in a bid to push the Chilean out the door at Old Trafford.

Today, Man United gaffer Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said that the player did have a future at the club and rubbished the claims that Alexis had been sent to train with the reserve side:

Alexis is such a professional and he comes in working every single day really hard and he wants to be a part of this,”

“There are these stories he’s been put in the reserves – of course he hasn’t, he’s part of our squad and he is a really good player. He has had three weeks now, so he’s a few weeks behind the rest but close to being part of it.”

“We don’t have the biggest forward line in numbers so Alexis might end up playing a lot more games than you expect and we expect him to come good at this club, he’s quality.”

Via The Guardian

So does Sanchez really still have a future at Manchester United?

Well the next few weeks are going to be very telling.

I do believe Man Utd would sell or loan the forward out if the right offer was on the table. I don’t think he fully fits the system at United and he doesn’t fit the younger, hungrier ethos Solskjaer is trying to bring back to the Premier League giants.

The attacker is earning around £500k a week (Source The Sun). That’s a huge amount for a club to pay any player but especially to a player that can’t force their way into the team’s starting eleven. So of course it would make sense for them to offload at least some of that wage and get him a loan deal.

That being said Ole isn’t flat out lying either. He was never going to throw the player under the bus as that would see any interest in Alexis disappear.

United do also have a pretty threadbare frontline.

The front three that started in the recent 4-0 win over Chelsea of Anthony Martial, Jesse Lindgard and Marcus Rashford will probably be Solskjaer’s favoured attacking line-up.

I expect Mason Greenwood to get more exposure in the Man United attack and I also see Daniel James getting plenty of minutes on the wing after his summer move from Swansea City.

After that and we are talking about pushing an ageing Juan Mata further forward.

In that respect Sanchez does give Ole another viable attacking option.

If by some miracle Alexis Sanchez can rediscover his form of 2016-17, then he’d be in the first eleven. Unfortunately he hasn’t given any indication in the last seventeen months to suggest he’s capable of reaching those heights once again.

Personally I still think Manchester United will do everything possible to get rid of Sanchez this month. They’ll want to keep squad harmony and having your highest paid star on the bench or not even in the match day squad won’t help sustain that harmony.

Yet if he does stay, I would also expect him to get chances to shine. Man United have plenty of games what with the League Cup and the Europa League about to join the Premier League fixtures on United’s impending schedule.

Will he take those chances? Well thats the £500k a week question!

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