Alexis Sanchez’s Manchester United career has stuttered so far, but what is next for the former Arsenal forward? The Soccer Saturday pundits give their verdict.
Sanchez has netted just two goals this season for United, and has remained very much on the periphery of the first team ever since his arrival at Old Trafford last January.
Another injury setback means Sanchez will miss out on a return to former side Arsenal on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, with United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirming he will be out for between four and six weeks with a knee problem.
Arsenal vs Man Utd
March 10, 2019, 4:15pm
So what happens next for Sanchez? Can he resurrect his United career? Could he leave in the summer? The Soccer Saturday pundits run the rule on the Chile international.
Paul Merson – He’s lost the sparkle, Manchester City would have suited him better
He looks lost at the moment. When you sign for Man United, you have to hit the ground running because if you fall behind, it is very hard to turn it around. It is a massive football club and I just don’t see that sparkle in his eye at the moment.
He played like a little kid when he was at Arsenal – with enthusiasm and like every game was a dream come true to be playing. He played like he was going to work his absolute socks off and give everything because it might be his last game. I don’t see that at United at the moment.
He was the top man at Arsenal and it made a difference. He was the star man and everything went through him. If he gave the ball away, it didn’t matter because he would be playing next week. Then he goes to a club like United where if you have two bad games, you’re on the bench. He finds it hard and I think Manchester City would have suited him a lot better than United does.
Phil Thompson – Salary dulled his enthusiasm, but he could still play a key role
I don’t think anybody can say that it has been a success. Even he has been saying he has not been good value and he should have been better. If you could look at it and consider injuries haven’t helped him at any given time.
Things like that are probably mitigating circumstances. When he has been fit he hasn’t looked happy. At Arsenal he was full of energy and commitment, passion and ideas and any one of those of things – he hasn’t given one of them things to Man United.
Maybe the salary has dulled his enthusiasm for the game. We have seen it with Mesut Ozil, the comfort zone they have. They would say they are still up for it and passionate but if they look back at it they will see their body language is saying that they are not. It is quite worrying.
Matt Le Tissier – Disaster, at his age it’s difficult to see what’s next
It hasn’t really worked out let’s be honest. It has been a disaster for him and Manchester United. [David] De Gea is playing well, so he could turn around and say that he is getting this amount of money and is nowhere near their best player.
Manchester United have dug a hole from that perspective. He has not really settled there. It’s going to be very difficult for him. He is 30 years of age now and has struggled so badly. Sanchez has made eight Premier League starts this season, 12 in the back end of the season before but the return in goals has been nowhere near as good as what it was for Arsenal.
Charlie Nicholas – Injured a lot these days, he’ll be gone in the summer
It’s been a shocker. I watched Manchester United with interest at the weekend. Marcus Rashford played out wide on the right and when Romelu Lukaku is fit, he looks sharp. It looks like he’s trimmed a few pounds off him so the sharpness has returned so he’s the one that scares me, and Rashford’s pace.
I think they’re running down the clock with Sanchez. I think he’ll be gone in the summer – that’s the reality.
They’ll look at things and say ‘what have you done? Not very much’, and he gets injured a lot these days. You have to look at what United have got coming through and they’ve just given [Anthony] Martial a new deal so when he’s fit, he’ll be playing.