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Manchester United 2018-19 Player Reviews: Alexis Sánchez

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FC Barcelona v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: Second Leg Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

It has to be official that Alexis Sánchez is the worst transfer deal in Manchester United history. He was acquired in a straight swap deal in January, 2018, but his wages are rumoured to be in the range of £500,000 per week (not to mention his reported appearance bonus). And his production since arriving at Man United? 5 goals and 9 assists in 45 appearances over one and a half seasons.

This season Sánchez only scored twice: The winner against Newcastle in the Premier League, and the opener at Arsenal (Hah) in the FA Cup. For nearly £26m in yearly wages, Alexis turned up with 2 goals. He’s made plenty of cameo appearances this season, often during dreadful, desperate performances by the rest of the team, but never inspired confidence. A subpar half season in 2018 has spiralled into the stuff of nightmares, serving as a constant reminder of the failures of Ed Woodward, José Mourinho, and really the whole club under Glazer leadership these past few years.

If Alexis Sánchez is still at the club come opening day, no, the start of the Summer tour, fans should revolt. He is eating up wage money that could go towards 2-3 other players that might actually supply the team with production. His only achievement in Manchester has been financial security for the rest of his life, and he’s not done yet. Whatever buyout that would be required to shed his dead weight is worth it for this to be over with. CD

Manchester United v Southampton FC - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

This was supposed to be the year that Alexis Sánchez rediscovered the form that made him (once, briefly) the most devastating attacking force in the Premier League. The thinking went that a first summer off in 9 years, and a full pre-season with his new teammates and manager would see him return to the field refocused and revitalized. That hope proved to be folly. In fact, this was the season that Alexis confirmed the worst fears of those who had watched him during his last few months at Arsenal and his first few months at United; he is a spent force.

“The fans love a trier,” Sir Alex Ferguson once said, somewhat dismissively referring to Carlos Tevez at the time. Like Tevez, Sánchez was admired for his relentless workrate off the ball. When United signed him, they were meant to be getting a player with a fire in his belly who could inject some urgency into an attack that was often lifeless. Instead, even the Chilean’s attempts at looking busy have been a failure. He runs about, sure, but he also seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time, pressing a second too late, and never to any effect. In possession, he is even worse. He has lost the ability to beat a player, to complete any pass that isn’t a first time layoff, and his runs into space are so mistimed that you’d be forgiven for thinking that he was watching the game around him on a delayed stream.

After 18 months, two managers, and no shortage of opportunities, Alexis Sánchez has been a complete failure. He still plays like a man who has never even met his teammates before, never mind trained with them, and lacks the individual quality to make up for the complete absence of team chemistry. Manchester United have foolishly invested millions of pounds worth of wages into this shell of a footballer, and he is frequently the worst player on the pitch. Reports say that his sorry fortunes on the pitch are reflected in his demeanor off it as well; Sánchez is supposedly a sullen and isolated figure around the training ground and in the dressing room. It is not his fault that Ed Woodward and José Mourinho between them decided to award him his ludicrous contract, but United must do all they can to rid themselves of this albatross this summer. He has been an unmitigated disaster. Cute dogs though. BM