I think it’s fair to say that Alexis Sanchez’s start at Manchester United has been a mixed bag.
The Red Devils’ #7 played key parts in huge victories against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, but there has been occasions aplenty where the man from Chile has struggled to get into games.
Seemingly, that’s a view echoed by former United right-back Gary Neville, who has now spoken out and criticised his former employers’ decision-making when acquiring Sanchez.
Neville feels that United were playing more attractive football before Sanchez turned up, but he admits that the attacker was always going to get his fair share of minutes; whatever the performance levels were.
“He [Mourinho] brought Alexis Sanchez into the club and look at what’s happened to them since Alexis Sanchez came in,” Neville told Sky Sports, per the Daily Mirror.
“If you look at the actual stats and you think about before Sanchez arrived at the club, they were playing quite a bit of football, they were scoring goals and contributing, they had assists.
“But since Alexis Sanchez has come to the club, obviously he’s played a lot of the games, and that’s what’s happened.
“There’s been a big impact negatively, so they’ve [Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial] got to get back to the standards they were setting earlier in the season and what they’re capable of.”
I think we were all caught up in the moment when we signed Sanchez. He’s a stunningly gifted footballer, but at the time, not many realised what it’d mean for both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
Now the dust has settled somewhat, we’ve seen a huge reduction in minutes from the aforementioned duo, and at times, that certainly has affected the team; moreover the style of play as a whole.
With that said, if you were to go back in time, ten times out of ten, United (and myself) would make the same choice all over again. Sanchez is a brilliant footballer who works his socks off for the cause every single time he’s on the pitch. You simply cannot teach that attitude, desire and willingness to win. That’ll always be unmatched.