“I can’t do anything about Alexis Sanchez. When he plays he needs to find himself because we know there’s a quality player there.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s comments on Alexis Sanchez carry a tinge of resignation. The Norwegian sounds like a man who is seriously close to giving up on a player who arrived at Manchester United to huge fanfare, and even larger expectation.
Since his much-publicised move from the Emirates Stadium to Old Trafford, the Chile international has found the back of the net just five times in 37 appearances for the Red Devils, proving to be a massive flop as well as a pricey one.
Whilst he was the subject of a seemingly simple swap deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Sanchez is reportedly on a huge £500,000-a-week deal at Old Trafford, earning more than any of his teammates – given his abysmal form, that would be certain to damage team morale.
His most recent nightmarish performance came against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last 16, where he did next to nothing in his 41 minutes on the pitch and yet again looked disinterested.
The 30-year-old only made his way onto the pitch against the Parisians after an injury to Anthony Martial, who, along with Jesse Lingard, will miss the FA Cup fifth round tie against Chelsea on Monday night. Sanchez is now likely to start the game in what would be a huge fixture from him personally.
Having been called out by his manager in such a way as Solskjaer did in the aforementioned quote, it is now up to the former Barcelona forward to sort himself out and find himself in a United shirt.
If he is unable to do so, in a time when his boss is depending on him amid an injury crisis, then Sanchez’s time in Manchester could well be up. There certainly won’t be many more chances to prove himself, if any at all.