Can Alexis Sanchez Turn His Manchester United Career Around?
Alexis Sanchez‘s move to Manchester United has been nothing less than a disaster for the Chilean. Since joining from Arsenal in January of last year, Sanchez’s performances have been pretty poor, and very surprising when compared to how he performed at his previous club.
United paid around £30 million for the 30-year-old, as well as sending Henrikh Mkhitaryan the other way. The Red Devils had to fend off competition from local rivals Manchester City to secure Sanchez’s services.
It was without a doubt a two horse race to complete the signing until United tabled a £490,000 wage offer. This saw them complete the signing, with City not willing to match this offer. However, at the moment City have looked like the winners of this transfer saga, with Alexis scoring just five goals for United.
Will Alexis Sanchez Turn Around his Career?
A Look at Sanchez’s Past?
Throughout his career, Sanchez has been known for his top dribbling skills, as well as having an eye for goal. His began his career with Cobreloa in his native Chile. In 2006, he earned a move to Udinese in Italy but endured two loan spells in South America before breaking into the first team.
Having impressed with Udinese, the winger was snapped up by European champions FC Barcelona in 2011. A dream move for any player, Alexis had the pleasure of playing alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Andrès Iniesta. After three years in Catalonia, Sanchez swapped Spain for England to join Arsenal, where he was a revelation of a signing.
In all competitions for the Gunners, the Chile international scored a total of 80 goals in 166 matches. But in Sanchez’s last few months at the Emirates Stadium, he seemed unsettled and it looked as though he was wanting a move away from the London side.
Just how Underwhelming has Sanchez been?
So it looked to be a great move for both Sanchez and Manchester United, but he has failed to emulate his past form so far at the Theatre of Dreams. He had completed 90 minutes in most of the games he featured in from January to the end of the season, but the winger failed to impress on a regular basis as his side pushed for a Champions League spot.
And things have just gotten worse this season. Alexis has played a full 90 minutes just once this term, with Anthony Martial having been favoured of the Chilean. The club as a whole had been enduring a poor season under Jose Mourinho, with fans calling for him to be relieved from his duties.
In December 2018, fans finally got their wish, with Jose parting company with the club. Old Trafford has been a much happier place since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as interim manager. The Norwegian hasn’t been able to turn Sanchez’s fortunes around as of yet, though.
Is There Still Time to Turn Things Around?
When a player is heavily lacking confidence, it is very challenging for them to turn circumstances around. Players often switching teams for a fresh start. Whilst a swap of scenery may be the solution to Alexis Sanchez’s problems, he will be wanting to try and turn the current situation around before it’s too late.
Solsjkaer has definitely changed the vibe at United, which is seen in the way the team perform on the pitch. Some players who began the season disappointedly, have hit a change in form since the change in management.
It could just be taking a little longer than the rest for Sanchez to improve his season. Understandably too, having went from such a high to a low, the confidence of the 30-year-old has clearly been damaged.
Having rarely featured for too long in recent months, it may be a matter of building everything at a slow pace to get Sanchez back to his former self. If he can get a goal in an upcoming match, that could result in a good run of form.
Little Game Time, Many Problems
In an interview with BBC Sport, Sanchez opened up about his form at Old Trafford:
“I’m a player that, if I’m not in contact with the ball, I lose that spark, and sometimes I want to play in every game. You’re in, you’re out, and I’m used to playing. It’s not an excuse because if I go on for 10, 20 minutes, I have to perform because that’s what I’m here for, to make a difference. I would like to have brought more joy to the club. Yes, it worries me because I believe in my abilities as a player, I want to show it.”
He also mentioned that he started to lose confidence under Mourinho, due to being in and out the team.
Of course, Alexis Sanchez is enduring a tough point of his career, but Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer could just be the man to turn things around for the creative Chilean winger. Only time will tell.