Just over a year ago, Manchester United fans were mightily excited when they learned that the great Alexis Sanchez would be heading to Old Trafford.
This was supposed to be the start of something special. The Chile international took the #7 jersey, he came with pedigree, class and a determination to win.
Sadly, that hasn’t happened. Injuries haven’t helped, but there seems to be a mental fragility that is holding him back at the moment. There is a great player in there somewhere, but the 30-year-old hasn’t shown it.
Now, Sanchez has spoken to the media about his struggles. I love the fact that he openly admits that the performances have been sub-par, and he seems to have the determination and desire to turn things around.
“He [Solskjaer] hasn’t spoken to me a great deal about what I have to do on the pitch, but I think I’m an experienced player and I think I know what I need to do and what I shouldn’t do,” said the former Barcelona player.” Sanchez is quoted as saying by the BBC.
“I’m a player that, if I’m not in contact with the ball, I lose that spark, and sometimes I want to play in every game. You’re in, you’re out, and I’m used to playing.
“It’s not an excuse because if I go on for 10, 20 minutes, I have to perform because that’s what I’m here for, to make a difference.
“I would like to have brought more joy to the club. Yes, it worries me because I believe in my abilities as a player, I want to show it.”
“I don’t know how people see me, but football is what I’ve loved from being a kid and it’s my passion.”
The best thing about a change-in-manager is the fact that everyone gets a clean slate. Sanchez has shown glimpes under Solskjaer. His cameo against Newcastle was excellent, while he was the best player in our FA Cup win over Reading.
Now, he needs to show that on a consistent basis. Timing-wise, it couldn’t get any better for Sanchez. With both Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard out injured, there is an opportunity there for Sanchez to grasp that spot in the team and not let go.
It all starts tomorrow night at Stamford Bridge. Sanchez will likely start that game and it’s the perfect chance to show everyone that he still has the ability to play at the highest level.
If he can bag a goal or two and put in a display like we know he can, then no doubt all will be forgotten and we’ll start to see the player we thought we were signing twelve months ago…