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Alexis Sanchez: What next for Manchester United flop?

Alexis Sanchez, what a sad story. A player that epitomises the phrase ‘fall from grace’. It was only 3 years ago the Chilean international was arguably the best player in the Premier League. His incredible work rate, sublime creativity and deadly finishing dragged Arsenal through tough times. Both Manchester clubs were vying for his signature, with City the front runners because of their imminent Premier League title win. Yet United’s obscene contract offer tilted the former Barcelona winger’s head and it all went down hill from there.

Alexis Sanchez in action for Arsenal

Sanchez’s sharp decline from a world class forward to one that is completely unwanted has been astonishing. A £450,000 per week contract at Old Trafford didn’t set a good precedent. With just 3 goals and 6 assists across his two seasons with the Red Devils, there’s a strong case for him being the worst transfer in Premier League history. Though there were signs of a slight drop-off in his final year at Arsenal, no-one could’ve called this.

Alexis Sanchez – Manchester United career over?

The Chile international began life on loan at Inter Milan well this season, scoring on his full debut. Yet injury restricted him to just 15 appearances in all competitions. Now, the Nerazzurri are set to not sign him permanently, according to Calciomercato. United’s asking price is the main issue in the article. But wages and his injury-proneness could also be major stumbling blocks.

So Sanchez is now in limbo. After the football season begins again and his loan expires, does he have a future in Manchester? It hardly seems likely. He wanted to leave on loan in the first place and clearly doesn’t want to be at Old Trafford. It would be foolish for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to keep someone who could potentially disrupt the feel good factor currently in and around the club. For the first time since his spell as interim manager, the culture surrounding the club seems to be positive.

Alexis Sanchez and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United

Moreover, the Norwegian’s attack doesn’t exactly need to be replaced. Rashford, Martial and Greenwood were immense in 2019/20, far better than Sanchez has been for the last 2-3 seasons combined. With the focus on youth too, the Copa America winner is surplus to requirements.

Too large of a risk for any top side

Sanchez always has and continues to work hard on the pitch. The tenacity and work rate hasn’t dropped off. But he just doesn’t have the legs any more having lost a yard of pace and he just can’t run at defenders like he used to. To be fair to the former Udinese attacker, his technical ability is still there. In 2018/19, he was still averaging 1.1 key passes per game and providing creativity. Yet considering how many times he loses the ball in the final third, his net contribution to the team is hardly positive nowadays.

Alexis Sanchez was incredible in his prime at the Emirates. But now it seems like his time in elite level football is quickly coming to an end. With his wage demands, injury proneness, age and sharp physical decline, it’s hard to see what team will take him on. The Chinese League seems like a strong possibility. Or he leaves on loan to another European side, with United covering for most of his wage, until his contract expires eventually in 2022.

That being said, West Ham have now reportedly made contact with his agent. So maybe his Premier League career isn’t over just yet…

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