Alan Shearer blames a lack of freedom for Alexis Sanchez's struggles at Manchester United


When Alexis Sanchez swapped Arsenal for Manchester United in January 2018, he was expected to hit the ground running. 

But that didn't exactly happen. 

He's really struggled so far and has even been branded a flop after failing to impress in his first year at Old Trafford. 

Sanchez has made a total of just 18 Premier League starts in a Man United shirt to date and has scored three goals and made six assists combined in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons. 

That's hardly enough to justify his basic wage of £350,000 a week, which rises to around £500,000 a week with bonuses and image rights. 

The 30-year-old has been a shadow of his former self for a while now and he's left many people asking exactly what's gone so wrong in Manchester. 

Interestingly, Alan Shearer thinks he knows the answer and has pinpointed the differences between how Sanchez played at Arsenal, compared to how he's playing at United now. 


"He is basically the only United player who has not improved since [Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho," Shearer wrote in his column for The Sun, ahead of Man United's trip to Chelsea.

Leicester City v Manchester United - Premier League

"So it is about time he stepped up and started showing the form we saw at Arsenal.

"Sanchez might be struggling at United because he has not been afforded the kind of freedom he got under Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.

"He could basically do what he wanted - go left, right or down the middle and if he lost the ball, people would cover for him."

West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal - Premier League

So, Shearer believes that Sanchez has struggled so much because of a lack of freedom to roam around in attacking positions - and, the fear of not having any defensive cover.

On top of that, he also suggests that the South American has had to play in a more structured system at Man United, which may not fully suit his strengths.  


"Since he arrived at Old Trafford last year, Sanchez has had to play in a more structured system - but that should not be an excuse," Shearer continued, before ending with a damning assessment.

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League

"With his undoubted ability, Sanchez’s performances have to be a hell of a lot better than what we have seen so far."

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