Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is confident he will be able to get the best out of Alexis Sanchez.
Sanchez, who struggled under Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, is set to return from injury and will be available for selection in United’s game against Newcastle United on Wednesday.
Does Alexis Sanchez still have a future at Man Utd? Five things to know…
- Sanchez joined United from Arsenal last year in a swap deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
- But the Chilean is still yet to hit the heights with United which had made the club go for him in the first place.
- Rumours started building over Sanchez leaving the summer amid reports of a bad relationship with Jose Mourinho.
- But Solksjaer believes Sanchez still has a future at United and can benefit from changes at the club.
- Alexis Sanchez has scored four goals in 30 games for United since signing in January 2018.
The Chilean joined United in January from Arsenal on a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan but has been directly involved in just 11 goals (four goals, seven assists) in 30 games across all competitions.
This led to reports of Sanchez leaving United in the January transfer window, with Paris Saint-Germain one of the touted destinations. But Solksjaer is confident of keeping the Chilean at Old Trafford and believes he can still get the best out of his forward.
“I think Alexis is a player that would benefit from the interchanging, rotation and movements and more chances,” he said, as reported by Goal.
“If we create more chances and get the ball in the final third, he will be an asset for us.”
Solksjaer went on to speak of Sanchez’s eagerness to return for United, adding: “He is champing at the bit.
“He wants to play all the time, he’s one of those characters. Alexis has had some great training sessions over the last few days and wanted to be [involved in Sunday’s 4-1 win over Bournemouth] as well but we’ve had to manage him.
“He’s been out for a month. He will be involved [at Newcastle].”
Manchester United have started life under Solksjaer well, scoring 12 goals in three games since the Norwegian took charge and will be expected to add a fourth-straight win against Newcastle.
Sanchez’s Man Utd struggles
When Sanchez first signed for Manchester United last January, many believed the Chilean would be one of the best deals of the year.
But, despite Mourinho previously trying to shoehorn him into the side, Sanchez is still yet to set Old Trafford alight.
However, United’s return to attacking football looks set to benefit the Chilean, with former midfielder Paul Ince previously bemoaning Mourinho’s style of play and the negative effect on Sanchez.
Speaking after United’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace in November, Ince told Match of the Day 2: “When United can’t score, bring Fellaini on, go long, Palace are set up for that. They are relying on luck, knockdowns.
“Paying Sanchez half a million pounds, and not to be a quarterback. Playing long ball.
“We don’t want him like that, we want him in the 18-yard area. Fans have been patient but I don’t see cohesion or how we are trying to play.”
There have been some reported issues off the pitch, too, with Sanchez accused of mocking Mourinho in training following his dismissal.
This is FALSE!!!. José gave me the chance to play for the best team in the world and I only have gratitude for him. We are a truly United team. We are MANCHESTER UNITED. Respect. I can’t wait to help the team !. Good luck tomorrow family! pic.twitter.com/9uhXqd5iEU
— Alexis Sánchez (@Alexis_Sanchez) December 21, 2018
Posting a picture of the report on his Twitter account, Sanchez wrote: “This is FALSE!!!.
“José gave me the chance to play for the best team in the world and I only have gratitude for him. We are a truly United team. We are MANCHESTER UNITED.
“Respect. I can’t wait to help the team!. Good luck tomorrow family!”