Reports have come out that Solskjaer wants to be rid of Alexis Sanchez, but is that the best move for Man Utd?
Alexis Sanchez has had a difficult time at Man Utd since arriving in the January 2018 transfer window. According to The Sun, Solskjaer has banished Sanchez from the first team, and will be playing with the reserves should he refuse a loan move, likely to be to Roma.
Last season, during a tough spell for Solskjaer at Man Utd, the Norwegian manager claimed that he will be ‘ruthless’ with his squad. This could be the result of rumoured and confirmed departures such as Romelu Lukaku, Marcos Rojo and Alexis Sanchez. Chris Smalling and Phil Jones being completely dropped from the squad against Chelsea was also a big statement from the manager.
However, players such as Smalling, Jones, Matic and Lukaku were wanted out of the squad due to either a lack of quality or being a misfit to Solskjaer’s plan.
With Alexis Sanchez, he doesn’t fall under any of those concerns…
Why should Man Utd keep Sanchez?
The Chilean is, on paper, one of the best players in world football. He came into a struggling and declining squad who were out of favour with their manager. Playing a very defensive and pragmatic style, Sanchez’s strengths of passing in behind the defence and being involved in close-controlled intricate play were made void.
With Solskjaer’s new system of high-pressing and counter-attacking football, it would allow Sanchez to shine. Sanchez is a hunter for the ball, even last season, he pressed high and chased possession endlessly.
At times we saw glimpses of the type of pass the Chilean can pull off, but lack of quality and movement also made this trait void.
Having such a highly regarded player in the squad who fits the new system should be given the same opportunity to prove himself as other players did during pre-season.
It appears Solskjaer favours the youth. Removing Romelu Lukaku has made space for Mason Greenwood on the bench. Would involving Sanchez remove his spot?
In a season where Man Utd have a large number of games (having Europa League football) and a lack of squad depth, perhaps keeping Sanchez for another year wouldn’t be so bad after all.