The Red Devils star has failed to hit the ground running since his big move to Old Trafford last month.
Alexis Sanchez’s body language in recent games suggests he is struggling to smoothly adjust to Jose Mourinho and Manchester United’s ways since his bumper swap move from Arsenal last month.
A dejected Sanchez was seen at Wembley after Tottenham humbled United. A similar image was seen against Newcastle with United also failing to find a cutting edge in the final third vs Sevilla in the first leg of their goalless draw in the Champions League last 16 tie.
Mourinho will be desperate to find a balance in his side that allows Sanchez to thrive and other big names such as Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba to fit in, but the early signs are not good, writes football.london’s Charles Watts.
Having conceded after just 11 seconds against Tottenham, United never looked like coming back into the contest despite having their new superstar signing playing in an attack which also featured Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial.
In fact when the game was over, one look at Sanchez’s statistics highlighted just how ineffectual he had been for his new club. The Chilean failed to register a single shot on goal during the 90 minutes, he failed to create a chance for his teammates and he had just two touches in the Spurs box.
Things were even worse at St James’ Park as the Chilean was unable to take advantage of an open goal just before the Magpies took the lead.
Any Arsenal fans watching either game would have seen some very familiar failings from Sanchez and the two displays should serve as a bit of a warning to Manchester United in terms of what could be to come from the 29-year-old forward.
On his day Sanchez is a world class talent, we all know that, we saw it enough during his time at the Emirates. But we’ve not seen it at all this season.
Instead we saw a player who was clearly going through the motions and was angling for a move. Arsene Wenger maintained throughout that Sanchez had shown total commitment, but there will be many who watched the former Barcelona man week in, week out, who will disagree with him.
You would imagine, however, that will now change after he got his move to Old Trafford and his debut against Yeovil in the FA Cup was impressive enough.
Sanchez grabbed an assist and was hailed as United’s new saviour the following day, despite the fact he was playing against League Two opposition.
But even in that match the frustrations that Arsenal fans had over Sanchez were on show for all to see. He gave the ball away 31 times against Yeovil despite being on the pitch for just 72 minutes, that’s a staggering amount and against better opposition it could have been very costly.
And it wasn’t much better against Spurs. During his tepid display he touched the ball 76 times and lost it on 20 occasions. So in his first 170 minutes at his new club, Sanchez turned over possession 51 times.
Against Spurs he started out on left but after the interval who was moved into a central position to operate behind Lukaku in attack. but as the game drifted away from United, Sanchez dropped deeper and deeper trying to get on the ball.
Again, it’s something we saw all too often from the forward during the final months of his stay in north London. When things start to go wrong, Sanchez becomes an indivilist.
He goes hunting the ball, vacating his position and leaving the team unbalanced. Something we saw throughout the second half at Wembley.
He drops deeper and deeper and so rather than being in an area where he can hurt the opposition, he finds himself in areas where he struggles to have an effect on the game. Spurs dealt with him comfortably – as many sides did this season when he was in an Arsenal shirt.
Sanchez is a world class player on his day, but he also brings plenty pf problems with him. The mood swings, the tantrums when things don’t go his way. It can become divisive and tiresome, it’s what led to him becoming an isolated figure in north London.
United have landed themselves a wonderful player who will no doubt make the difference at times for Mourinho’s side, but they have also got themselves a player who can frustrate as much as he can excite.