Enough is enough – Man United must offload this £391,000-a-week flop in the January window


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Manchester United must offload Alexis Sanchez in the January window

Former Arsenal icon Ian Wright believes Manchester United might offload Alexis Sanchez if the Chilean continues to underwhelm at the Old Trafford (h/t BBC). 

When Sanchez moved to United earlier in January this year, a lot was expected from the Chilean. After all, he had taken his career to a new level with Arsenal. He came off the back of a great scoring record for the Gunners, having scored 80 goals from 166 appearances across all competitions over the span of four years.

However, things have changed and the Chilean has undergone a radical change in his fortunes at Old Trafford. Although he showed glimpses of his former self in the latter half of the 2017/18 season, he has had a quiet season so far.

Despite being 6 games into the new term, the 29-year-old Chilean is yet to break his duck in the Premier League. He has made five appearances for the Red Devils this season, four of which came as starts. However, Sanchez does not have much to show for his efforts. To be honest, he has looked pretty rusty and has failed to provide that much-needed impetus to the attack from the left.

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Barring a modest game against Burnley where he registered an assist, Sanchez has been disappointing in the rest of the games he has played so far. For some unknown reason, he just doesn’t seem to be the same player who excelled at Arsenal.

Playing on the left side of United’s 4-3-3 formation, Sanchez has been unable to get his crosses into the box on a regular basis. His low-driven crosses or cut-backs into the box – which were lethal at Arsenal – haven’t found their mark either.

At times, Sanchez has cut an isolated figure up front for the Red Devils and has been outnumbered by the defenders while trying to craft some moves from the flanks. He had a reputation for cutting inside from the left and finding the target man with accurate crosses but the defenders seem to have read his mind perfectly this season and haven’t allowed him the space to work with. One might say that he has become quite predictable with his style of play and the defenders have figured out how to deal with him.

It could also be argued that the player hasn’t received the required amount of support from his teammates. Jose Mourinho has been pretty inconsistent with his tactics and has often shifted Paul Pogba to a defensive role. Luke Shaw, one of United’s standout performers of the season, has tried his best to link the play with Sanchez by making attacking runs and that ploy has worked on a few occasions.

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Sanchez is currently one of the highest paid players in United’s ranks, earning wages of a whopping £391,000-a-week. However, he has not done justice to the money the club are spending to keep him on their payroll. Maybe, it is a little early to write him off but United must eventually reconsider his future if he continues to perform below his potential. There is quite some time to go for the winter transfer window to open and Mourinho should look to give him regular minutes with the hope that he finds his feet soon.

With players like Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford all vying for the left-winger’s spot, Sanchez is not an automatic selection for Mourinho, by any means. He should earn his place in the team but to do that, he needs to play with greater freedom like he did at Arsenal. Considering his traits, he is most likely to excel when given a free role down the left and the manager should provide him with the flexibility to change positions and link the play.

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Although Sanchez has already tried far too many things this season, United have no other option being patient for their big signing to come good. They should hand him a couple of months to get his act together and then consider his future. If he fails to deliver the goods, United should not hesitate to offload him in January to raise handsome funds and bolster their transfer budget.

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