Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez has “lost his hunger”, according to ex-Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson.
Sanchez joined United from the Gunners last year, as part of a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but is yet to make real impact at his new club.
What’s wrong with Alexis Sanchez? Four key things to know…
- Sanchez joined United from Arsenal in January 2018, with Mkhitaryan going the other way.
- Neither player has had the best life at their new clubs, with Sanchez only scoring five goals in 37 games.
- Sanchez’s future at Man Utd has been in doubt over the past few months amid rumours of his unhappiness.
- And former Arsenal midfielder Merson believes Sanchez has lost his hunger.
The Chilean has scored five goals and recorded nine assists in 37 games since his signing after Jose Mourinho initially attempted to shoehorn him into the United side.
Sanchez has not had as much luck for playing time under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer amid reports of unhappiness in Manchester and injury problems.
And former Arsenal midfielder Merson has admitted his upset at seeing the Chilean struggle.
“I hope we see the old Sanchez, but I don’t see the confidence or the hunger in his eyes anymore,” he told Sky Sports.
“The first thought that used to come to mind when you mentioned Alexis Sanchez was that he worked his socks off, he put a shift in.
“For the quality he possesses as a player, he works as hard as anyone, but I don’t see that anymore.
“Sanchez has lost that hunger and it’s a shame. It’s sad because he was good.”
Merson’s thoughts were echoed by another ex-Arsenal player, with Charlie Nicholas adding: “It pains people to watch [what is happening to] Sanchez.
“He was a street fighter, a warrior, with talent. He will have an occasional burst of games but never as consistent as what he’s been in the past.”
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Solskjaer: Form will come for Sanchez
While some United fans may have already given up on Sanchez, current caretaker manager Solskjaer has remained calm on the Chilean’s poor form.
Speaking ahead of United’s FA Cup tie against Chelsea on Monday, Solskjaer admitted his belief that Sanchez’s performances are a result of low confidence.
He told reporters (via Sky Sports): “I think he is a very good player. He is very talented but of course there is only so many things you can sit down and talk about and tweak.
“You saw against Fulham, when he gets his chance, he is so sharp in and around the ball with the way he wins it and with his energy.
“If he could just get that goal, I am sure that would release some of his confidence. That is what it is about when you go through periods when you do not perform up to your standard.
“We know there is a very, very good player there. It is just like a bottle of ketchup when it never comes but suddenly loads comes out.”