In 2011, Barcelona snatched the signature of one of the most exciting young talents in the world – Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean forward from Udinese constantly harassed opposition defenses in the Serie A, attracting the attention of European juggernauts. He chose Barcelona and Pep Guardiola, and the stage was set for a new star on the football sky.
Sanchez spent three years at Barca and didn’t reach the heights he was supposed to. He was playing well, but was always in the shadow of Messi and later Neymar. It was obvious that the Chilean speedster needed to break free from Barca’s constraints, and he quickly found a new home in Arsenal. And, what a home it turned out to be.
Sanchez’s qualities were obvious from the moment he stepped out on the field in Arsenal colors. His blistering pace, incredible vision for a pass, and his undeniable quality in front of the goal made him a fan-favorite just weeks after his arrival. Life was good for Alexis Sanchez at Arsenal – he scored a total of 60 times in 122 appearances, but Arsenal’s failure to climb up the table had repercussions. With injuries piling on for the Chilean wizard and the team unable to compete for silverware, he started looking for a way out.
Manchester United – the New Destination
Alexis Sanchez has initially agreed to a deal with City in the summer of 2017 which would reunite him with Pep Guardiola. The deal was in place, but Arsenal didn’t find a replacement in time, so the transfer failed. Eventually, Sanchez went to Manchester United in January 2018, and there was a growing belief that he could spearhead United’s often-stale attack.
However, under Mourinho, Sanchez did almost nothing. He scored only twice during his first season at United, and he was nowhere near the player that put defenses to the sword not long ago. Even when the new season started, Sanchez didn’t manage to find his form. Scoring only once this year, he has been sidelined with an injury for months. The club isn’t sure when he’ll return, but with Mourinho out, Sanchez may finally return to his goalscoring ways.
What Comes Next?
With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the helm, Manchester United has been doing great. Scratch that – the team’s been phenomenal. With 8 wins in all competitions in his first 9 games, Solskjaer seems like the ideal solution to United’s Mourinho-era woes. It’s not just about changing the style – he has managed to restore the team’s self-esteem and has helped players such as Pogba and Lukaku get back in form.
Fans are hoping (some are outright certain!) that the Norwegian manager can do the same with Sanchez. And Alexis desperately needs someone to help him. Even before the injuries, it was clear that the Chilean has lost his touch, and that has as much to do with his mental as his physical state. We believe that Solskjaer can help Alexis Sanchez find his touch again. When he does, Europe should fear United once again, as their attack is about to get lethal.
You can see Manchester United’s title odds after their recent resurgence by following this link.