Manchester United Agree Terms With Serie A Side For Star’s Loan Extention: Does He Have A Place In Ole’s Team?

Alexis Sanchez of Manchester United walks off after the Manchester United training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final First Leg match between Manchester United v FC Barcelona at Aon Training Complex on April 09, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Alexis Sanchez had been one of the best players playing the game for a substantial number of years. He has done well for almost all his clubs including Barcelona and Arsenal. However, his move to Manchester United proved futile, and the former Arsenal man became a pale shadow of himself. His impact for the Red Devils became so less that; eventually, they decided to ship him off to Inter Milan on loan last summer, and since then he has been plying his trade in Italy.

Marca now reports that the Italian club and the Premier League side have reached an agreement among themselves to extend his loan till the end of the season. While he may be forced to return to Old Trafford next summer, we are sceptical about whether that would benefit the club at all.

The fall of Alexis Sanchez

Starting his European career at Udinese, the Chilean spent three seasons with the club and scored 20 goals in the process. A switch to Barcelona was next in the line, and again Sanchez made a mark finding the back of the net 39 times in 88 appearances. Arsene Wenger brought him to England, and for the Gunners, he wreaked havoc, in total scoring 60 goals in 122 league appearances.

Manchester United were his next destination and the beginning of his downfall.  Featuring in just 32 league matches, Sanchez managed to have his name on the score-sheet only thrice. There could be several explanations for his under-performance, but the main reason for his lacklustre display was fatigue.

Sanchez had been playing at the highest level for a substantial period at a very high tempo. The work rate of the Chilean has been exemplary throughout, and the nature of his game demands that he moves across the pitch for the entire length of the game. This has certainly taken a toll on his performances in recent years.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – MARCH 16: Mesut Ozil (R) and Alexis Sanchez (L) of Arsenal leave the pitch at the half time during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second Leg match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal FC at Camp Nou on March 16, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Another factor that can be credited with the ex-Barcelona man’s deterioration is Jose Mourinho’s wrong tactical setup. While Ozil was the creator in chief at Arsenal and Sanchez entrusted with scoring duties along with Giroud, the Portuguese manager tried to give him the creative role at United. All of Lukaku, Rashford and Martial were placed ahead of him, and he needed to provide the opportunities for them. This did not suit his style, and Inter became his next destination.

Does he have a place at Man United?

At Inter, Sanchez has not been able to regain his form and only featured in nine matches in the Serie A, out of which seven have been from the bench. Overall, he has played 19 games for the Italian side across all competitions, scoring just once. It is crystal clear that the Chile international has not been able to get his touch back, and at this stage, his return would only be a burden for the Mancunian club.

Indeed, under Mourinho, the former River Plate forward could never hit the ground running, but there have been no signs either that Ole Gunnar Solskjær has finally cracked the code. Even the Norwegian manager would not be confident about Sanchez returning to form. Therefore it would be advisable for the Manchester side to sell him off to his biggest suitor this summer if at all there is any.