How Sanchez will fit into Man United team and who loses out - FCNaija
Features By: Linus Onyeze | 24/01/2018
Until he delivers at Manchester United, the questions will never be over: why did he snub City for United? What are his prospects of winning trophies with the Red Devils? Didn’t he move because of the money? And how will he even fit into Mourinho’s system?All those are questions that have been asked in the aftermath of Alexis Sanchez’s move Manchester United and truth be told, we will never know until he spends at least two seasons at Old Trafford. But are they valid questions, well, maybe.One theme that had been running – and still is – even since before the deal was finalized, is how muchthe amount he will earn in the red half of Manchester. It is reported to be a whopping £600,000 a week, making him the top earner at the club and in the Premier League, with Paul Pogba coming a distant second on the Red Devils’ wage bill £290,000.Will such an amount cause some discontent in the dressing room? Too early to tell, but already, some ‘experts’ have predicted the likes of David De Gea and Pogba would demand around what Sanchez earns to sign extensions to their contracts. While that may be a valid argument, it remains abstract, at least for the moment.
The most pertinent should be how he would fit into Jose Mourinho’s plans and the effect his presence could have on Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the recently impressive duo of Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial.
Sanchez played on the left of Arsenal’s attack for the bulk of his time at the Emirates, and even though he did lead the line for the Gunners severally, it is expected he would slot in from the left of United’s attack, at least in the interim. That means Rashford and Martial appear to be the ones who could suffer following the Chilean’s arrival.But given Lingard and Martial’s recent good forms, one would expect Mourinho to start at least one of them in most games, and that means we could see both players being alternated on the right, should the United boss stick to the 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 formations he has employed for the most part of the season.Sanchez’s pace and goal threat means he would almost certainly command a regular spot on the starting XI, and this is where it counts against Rashford. For all his talent, the young English forward is yet to prove himself a competent goalscorer, while Lingard and Martial have both recorded improvements in front of goal.
Another option could be to have the former Barcelona star lead the line, and that would finally afford Mourinho the chance to hand a rest to Lukaku, who has played over 80% of all of United’s games this season. However, whatever the case, Sanchez’s arrival is bound to improve United’s attack and make them a stronger threat in front of goal.The odd one out is Ibrahimovic, who will be gone at the end of the season and him being injured at the moment means Mourinho has very little to worry in that regard. When he returns, he will get minutes on the pitch, but surely, there’s a new sheriff in town, and it’s a certain lad from Chile.