This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Gary Neville has admitted Manchester United’s signing of Alexis Sanchez has been an “absolute disaster”.
The Chile international arrived in a swap deal from Arsenal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan go in the opposite direction. The former Barcelona star had lit the Premier League alight with his performances at the Emirates, but has failed to reproduce anything remotely similar in a United shirt.
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Now, Neville has insisted the time has come for the Red Devils to cut their losses on the 30-year-old and simply move on.
He said: “We talk about Alexis Sanchez going to Italy. I welcomed him coming to the club as he’s a tenacious forward that plays across the line and scores goals. But it’s been a disaster. He has been an absolute disaster. I have no idea what’s happened. There must be two of him. The one that played for Arsenal and Barcelona and then the one that’s turned up in Manchester. They need to get him out of the club.”
Wouldn’t it be so perfectly ironic if Sanchez got his reported move to Inter and started banging in the goals again in Italy? The Chilean’s failings at Old Trafford are frankly unfathomable. Yes, his record with injuries has been poor and has no doubt contributed to some of his ineffectiveness, but his transfer to United didn’t see him switch leagues or countries.
Sanchez went from playing for one of English football’s biggest sides to playing for another of English football’s biggest sides. Indeed, perhaps the biggest reason behind his shocking decline is the lack of freedom he has gotten at Old Trafford to play his own style of game.
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At Arsenal, he was the main man. At United, he has simply been one of a number of under-performing players in an under-performing team. The best outcome for all parties would be if the 130-cap star makes his exit this summer.