Alexis Sanchez might be impressing his teammates but now it is time to start impressing the supporters

Alexis Sanchez signed for Manchester United on the 22 January 2018. At the time it was a blow to Manchester City as Pep Guardiola wanted to sign the player. The move saw the end of Henrikh Mkhitaryan at United with Arsenal agreeing to a swap deal, which in this day an age, especially between two big clubs, is a rare thing to see. Sanchez was announced as a United player with a video of him playing the piano. There was excitement amongst the fan base. Many saw him as a great signing.

However, if you fast forward the year he has spent at the club, the fact that he has not performed to the best of his abilities will have rung true. Sanchez played 18 times for United during the 2017/18 season, scoring three goals, assisting a further five. During the current season, Sanchez has played just 14 times, scoring once and adding four assists to his tally. This is not great considering the wage he is getting each an every week. His injury record is not the best either, and that is in just one year.

United face Arsenal in the Emirates FA Cup this evening and Sanchez has been passed fit to play a part in the game. He has faced Arsenal once as a United player, at Old Trafford towards the end of last season. United won the game 2-1 but Sanchez did not perform as many would have liked him to against his former club. Earlier this season, United faced Arsenal at Old Trafford again, Sanchez was not involved in the game due to a hamstring injury. The game ended 2-2.

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Sanchez suffered a hamstring injury on the 24 November 2018, coming off after 22 minutes in the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace. This meant he was going to miss all of the matches during the busy month of December, not playing against until 2019. Sanchez recovered in time to face Newcastle United on the 2 January 2019, coming off the bench in the second half and play 27 minutes of football, also getting the assist for the second goal of the game, scored by Romelu Lukaku.

Sanchez then played 64 minutes in the 2-0 victory over Reading in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup. The Chilean got an assist in that game, against assisting Lukaku for the second goal of the game in added time at the end of the first half. Unfortunately, during that game, Sanchez suffered from a thigh problem, which kept him out of action for the victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton and Hove Albion. Tonight will see him face Arsenal for the first time at the Emirates.

Ahead of his press conference on Thursday morning, United’s caretaker manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed that Sanchez would be back in action against his former club, which will be the second time he has played against Arsenal as a United player. Solskjaer gave some insight also, which may help set the embers alight as he will be a hated figure by the home supporters. The Norwegian said:

“He’ll be involved. I think he’ll love it if the crowd turn against him. As a player, pride kicks in and you think ‘I’ll show all of you’. He’s been fantastic in training, his attitude has been spot on so hopefully he’ll enjoy the game.”

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Earlier in the week, it has been reported in the media that Sanchez has been impressing his teammates in training. United revisited the one-year anniversary of Sanchez signing for the club on Tuesday which resulted in Arsenal supporters aiming to troll the club with some asking when Sanchez would make his debut. They can mock all they like. Small clubs’ supporters do that. Some Arsenal supporters will tell you that they are one of the most successful clubs in England. The tears of laughter statements like that provoke.

Back to Sanchez, he needs to start impressing the clubs supporters rather than just his teammates. He is on a reported wage that would make you cry. If the wage he is on is correct, he’s literally earned millions doing very little along the way. Some may suggest that four goals and nine assist in 32 appearances is good but if you look at the current form of Paul Pogba, who has scored five goals and four assists, and Marcus Rashford, who has five goals and one assist – both in the last six matches.

If Sanchez wants to become a player worthy of wearing the famous number seven shirt at United, he needs to start performing like we all know he is capable of doing. Starting against Arsenal tonight. If he fails to shine this season, he will be mentioned amongst the most recent players to have failed wearing the famous shirt, such as Antonio Valencia, Angel Di Maria, and Memphis Depay. I am sure a player such as Sanchez would like to exceed expectations rather than fail to meet them.

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