The vast majority of Manchester United fans could not have been more delighted when their club tweeted the video of Alexis Sanchez playing ‘Glory, Glory, Man Utd’ on the piano at Old Trafford back in January.
This was their way of announcing the signing of the revered Chilean forward, who’d been one of the Premier League’s standout performers during his three-and-a-half seasons with Arsenal.
United didn’t pay a transfer fee for Sanchez, who was handed the club’s iconic number seven shirt, although they did allow Henrikh Mkhitaryan to complete a move in the opposite direction. It looked like excellent business for the Red Devils, despite the fact Sanchez was 29 and had played a ridiculous amount of football for club and country over the past few years.
Still, the deal has ended up costing United an awful lot of money.
Per the Daily Mail, Sanchez currently earns an eye-watering £391,000-a-week at Old Trafford, plus an additional £75,000 for every start he makes. Furthermore, he was also handed a £6.7 million signing-on fee.
No wonder Manchester City pulled out of the race for the former Barcelona forward.
Fast-forward almost 12 months, though, and Sanchez has been a bitter disappointment at United.
With just four goals in 29 appearances under Jose Mourinho, it clearly isn’t working for the Chile international, who looks a shadow of his former self right now.
There’s already talk that Sanchez will leave Old Trafford in the near future - a move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2019 is reportedly a possibility - while The Times recently claimed that he only speaks to three of his teammates inside the dressing room (David de Gea, Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku).
Andy Mitten, one of the best journalists when it comes to all things Man Utd-related, has revealed some interesting behind-the-scenes information about how the United players perceive their out-of-sorts teammate.
“Unlike [Angel] Di Maria, Sanchez’s teammates don’t think that he’s given up,” Mitten wrote in his latest Unibet column.
“True, he hardly looks happy at Carrington, even with all those other Spanish speakers around him, as he sits in the corner of the dressing room, a quiet figure, recently out of a long-term relationship who lives with his two dogs in Cheshire, but nobody doubts his professionalism.
“They do doubt that he’s a top, top footballer, though, because he doesn’t even stand out in training.”
That last line is particularly interesting.
Sanchez was widely regarded as one of the Premier League’s most talented attacking players prior to his move to Old Trafford, but United’s players are yet to be convinced that he’s even a ‘top, top footballer’ based on his performances in training.
This will come as concerning news to United fans, who will surely be fearing the No. 7 shirt will again become vacant in the near future.