Here in our It’s a big season for feature, we’ll be taking a look as to why the upcoming campaign is so important for Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez. Of course, his performances on the field have been far from acceptable and United legend Gary Neville even went as far as labelling him as the ‘worst transfer of all time’ (as per The Sun) last month. And, he could affect things this summer as ESPN pundit Steve Nicol believes that Sanchez’s salary will stop the Red Devils from signing Gareth Bale, so he really needs to step up his game as he’s causing more harm than good right now.
Now, there have been some truly incredible transformations throughout Premier League history, both good and bad. Just look at Fernando Torres or Gareth Bale as examples. But, Sanchez must be up there with one of the most surprising. Upon arriving at Arsenal from Barcelona, the Chilean forward proceeded to make the league his metaphorical playground. In the 2016/17 season, Sanchez scored 24 league goals and assisted 10. Amazingly, he would have actually won the Golden Boot this season with that record.
Yet, this season Sanchez managed just one goal and three assists in 20 appearances. It builds his tally to just three league goals in 32 games for the club, which is pretty shocking. It really is bizarre to watch, a player who was once such a talent seemingly now so poor. Whether it’s a lack of confidence or a system that doesn’t suit him, the difference in the level of performance is staggering.
Sanchez is now 30 and will be 31 by Christmas of next season, making it a defining season in terms of his future at Manchester United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shown that he isn’t afraid to bring youth into the picture as the likes of Mason Greenwood and Tahith Chong featured against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, so he needs to get his act together if he is to even play a part next season. And, the Times reported back in April that even Ed Woodward feels he made a big mistake in handing Sanchez a bumper contract on his arrival, so he’s very much up against it at this moment in time.
The Chilean is still valued at £40.5m (as per TransferMarkt) but would anyone be willing to pay a fee of that amount at this point? It seems highly unlikely. Additionally, Sanchez still has plenty of time left on his contract after initially singing a four-and-a-half-year deal worth a reported £350,000-a-week (as per Spotrac). Should United actually want to get rid of Sanchez, it may be difficult to do so, as surely no club in their right mind would be open to splashing an absurd amount of money (in wages) on a player who’s offered near to nothing at Old Trafford.
With so much money being pumped into him, it’s pretty mind-boggling to think just how much money United are effectively pouring down the drain in regard to his contract. If there’s no improvement, Sanchez risks entering the kind of fall-from-grace bracket Fernando Torres finds himself in and, it will likely be all downhill from there.
United fans, would you like to see Sanchez given another season? Or is his time in Manchester done? Comment below.