The Sun recently reported that Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho told Alexis Sanchez, after he dropped the winger for the trip to West Ham, that he would not play for the Red Devils again until his attitude had improved.
It was interesting then to see that the Chilean international was included from the start in the Champions League draw with Valencia at Old Trafford.
However, the Portuguese boss would also have grounds to leave Sanchez out of the side based on his performances so far this season. In fact, he has been in pretty poor form ever since his move from Arsenal in January earlier this year, but his start to this campaign has simply served to cement his place in the ‘biggest transfer mistakes’ category of future online galleries.
Sanchez was the main man at Arsenal and, with hindsight, that certainly suited him. His pursuit of bigger and better things though led him to force a move to Manchester United, with the Gunners receiving Henrikh Mkhitaryan in return.
Although the Armenian midfielder hasn’t exactly lit up the Emirates since then, Arsenal fans will be delighted to see the downfall of their former hero at one of their biggest rivals.
Considering United are paying the 29-year-old £505,000-a-week, they could have expected far more of an impact from the 121-cap international, who has actually looked more of a burden than a threat when he has been included.
Last season, Sanchez managed a return of two goals and three assists from his 12 Premier League appearances for United after his January move from North London. According to WhoScored, he also managed 2.2 key passes per game and his career in Manchester looked as if it could go either way.
United fought their neighbours Man City for Sanchez’s signature, but Pep Guardiola and the City hierarchy will be thanking their lucky stars that Ed Woodward and Mourinho went all out. This season, Sanchez is still yet to score a league goal and has only managed to provide one assist that came in the away win at Burnley, one of the only times that United have played well so far this season.
It’s clear that one of the main problems at Old Trafford this season is the clash of ego’s in the squad and management side, and Sanchez certainly doesn’t help this.
When your attacking players are looking to create chances and offering a threat, you can forgive them the odd misplaced pass, but the Chilean’s average pass success this season is a lowly 73% and he is beginning to make a habit of giving the ball away an obscene amount of times. Perhaps this is one of the reasons then that he is making over 18 less passes per game on average.
The one stat that we’ve looked at that has increased this season is his shots per game, proving that the lack of goals for the man valued at £63m by Transfermarkt isn’t for the want of chances to hit the target.
At Arsenal, Sanchez was often able to go it alone and win a game single-handedly for the Gunners, but unfortunately for United he is now just going it alone without the reward for his side. Don’t be surprised, whoever the manager is, to see Sanchez forced out of the club soon.
So, Manchester United fans, would you like to see Sanchez sold in January? Have your say by voting in the poll below.