Alexis Sanchez has admitted that he asked to miss Chile’s international matches against Sweden and Denmark as a result of the difficult start he’s made at Manchester United.
Sanchez has scored just once since his arrival from Arsenal in January and he had to be convinced to join up with his national teammates by captain Claudio Bravo.
"As I am self-demanding, I expected something better," the 29-year-old said, per BBC Sport.
"After my arrival at United, it was hard to change everything very quickly. I even hesitated to come to Sweden.
"I had asked permission to miss these games but then I thought better and spoke with Claudio and told him that we should all be united."
A Man United source recently painted a worrying picture of Sanchez’s life at the club.
He eats alone, the source informed the Daily Mail, and staff at United’s Carrington training base are surprised by just how miserable and unhappy Sanchez looks.
How Sanchez reacted to teammates' criticism
And it’s not much better on the pitch for Sanchez.
According to Neil Ashton of The Sun, Sanchez was criticised by some of his teammates at half-time of the recent defeat to Sevilla, who were unhappy with his failure to track back, his work rate when Sevilla were in possession and his lack of effort when a teammate was caught out of position.
And how did Sanchez react to the criticism, which also included a reminder about Man United’s lofty standards compared to those set at Arsenal? By shrugging.
Yes, that’s is. A simple shrug.
It says a lot that Sanchez couldn’t even be bothered to fight his corner. Perhaps he knew that he wasn’t doing enough.
The Sun’s report also claims that Man United players have realised something about Sanchez that will concern Jose Mourinho.
They’ve started to realise that his best stuff - the perfect runs, the sprints, the skills - only come when he’s in the right mood.
Some players can get away without putting in maximum effort.
Indeed, there were times at Arsenal when Sanchez didn’t appear up for it but he could still produce a moment of magic out of nothing.
At Man United, that simply hasn’t happened yet.
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