With the new Premier League season less than a week away, and United having not made any big name transfers so far,there is one man who could prove just as good as a new signing for the Red Devils. Yes, that player is none other than Alexis Sanchez.
After signing from Arsenal as part of the swap deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan go the other way, he failed to make an instant among the United faithful. Apart from a lively debut against Yeovil Town, he couldn’t contribute in other Premier League and Champions League matches as he was expected. Though he had a great Manchester Derby, it was the only highlight of his season since the January transfer. 3 goals in 19 games was far from impressive for a man who averaged 24 goals a season in his four full seasons before joining United.
Alexis Sanchez’s arrival at United disrupted the team too but as Mourinho told ESPN:
” It is not easy to come in the middle of the season. I’m not a big fan of the winter market because it’s not easy for players to adapt. So I think after a few Months with us, now to start the season I think it is a perfect moment for him to establish himself as an important player for us.“
After enjoying a first summer off in nearly 5 years though, he is back as a brand new, fit and hungry player. And we saw the first glimpses of it in the United States. After visa issues kept him out of the first game of pre-season against Club America, he returned to the line up against San Jose Earthquakes but couldn’t inspire them to a victory.
The next match against AC Milan was a completely different story. Alexis looked sharper, more energetic and a more fresher player than he was when he signed for the club. Playing in a 3-5-2 formation with Juan Mata as the second striker, Sanchez played much more freely which led to him scoring the opening goal in a game where a conclusion was reached only after an insane 26 goal penalty shootout. The following game against Liverpool was a foregone conclusion as they were facing a much better prepared side who had a great transfer window.impact he can have in the new season. Playing in a similar formation to that against AC Milan, Sanchez scored and set up another to secure a vital victory to end a quite poor pre-season for United.
When it comes to Alexis Sanchez, Manchester United fans should be highly optimistic about the new season. Having a first summer off in nearly 5 years will help in regaining all the energy needed to finally step up and be the match winner that he has been at all of his previous clubs.