Manchester United sent shockwaves across the footballing world in January, as they scooped Alexis Sanchez’s signature from right under Manchester City’s nose.
The Chile international has now played a handful of games as a Red Devil, and although we’ve seen glimpses of his brilliance, it’s going to take Sanchez some time to fully adjust to Jose Mourinho’s tactics.
With that in mind, we’ve decided to take a look at where Sanchez should be deployed, assessing all four options for the #7.
Let’s start with the left-wing. This is where Sanchez has started playing for United, with Anthony Martial shoved out to the right-flank to accommodate the Chilean.
This position allows Sanchez to cut in onto his lethal right foot, leaving defenders with absolutely no chance to keep up with him due to his on-ball brilliance and excellent footballing-brain.
This is probably the position where he’s played least, but I like the idea of Sanchez starting as Manchester United’s #10 just in-behind the main striker.
He’s quick, can help out in midfield, can pick passes and also chip in with some goals. Sanchez would face stiff competition from Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata to start in this role, but you’d expect him to beat those guys off. My main concern would be if the switch to the 4-3-3 happens, meaning this would no longer be an option.
Sanchez started his career as a right-winger and it’s where he made a name for himself. Being predominantly right-footed, it allows him to get to the byline and whip in fierce crosses for his teammates.
Although United are struggling for consistency in the RW position, I’m a firm believer in playing your best players in their best position. Where Sanchez is concerned, it’s certainly not the right-hand side at this stage in his career.
His best season in England came when he was predominantly deployed as the star striker. Sanchez scored goals galore in a struggling Arsenal team. His low centre of gravity helps, and him playing as a striker draws similar comparisons to Sergio Aguero.
However, a lack of height, particularly in a Jose Mourinho-managed team is the big worry. Although he’s decent in the air, centre-backs will have at least a foot advantage on him, making it extremely tough from a physical standpoint.