United wrong to let Sanchez leave
Alexis Sanchez may be regarded as a Manchester United flop, but the club was surely wrong to allow him to leave Old Trafford.
It was announced earlier this week that Chile international Sanchez had joined Serie A giants Inter Milan on a season-long loan deal, although United are still paying a large proportion of his reported £500,000-a-week wages.
There is no question that Sanchez’s time at Old Trafford has not exactly gone to plan following his arrival from Arsenal in January 2018, as he only scored five goals in his 45 appearances for the club across all competitions, with just three of those coming in the Premier League.
Sanchez also became the second United forward to join Inter this summer, following in the footsteps of Romelu Lukaku, who moved to the Nerazzurri on a permanent basis earlier this month.
However, despite Sanchez’s struggles during his time with United, it still seems a strange decision from the Red Devils to let him go, particularly as Daniel James was the only forward to join the club during the summer.
James has impressed during his brief United career to date, scoring three goals in his four appearances to date, but the fact he was the only forward to arrive at Old Trafford means Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s options in the final third are limited.
This was particularly in evidence during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton in the Premier League, as United were pushing for the winner during the latter stages of that game after the Saints were reduced to 10-men following the sending off of Kevin Danso.
Solskjaer’s main attacking option on the bench was 17-year-old Mason Greenwood and, as good as he can potentially become, it is a bit much for United to be relying on him to produce at such an early stage of his career.
The impressive James, Marcus Rashford and Andreas Pereira started as United’s front three at St Mary’s Stadium, with Anthony Martial being unavailable through injury.
Juan Mata also figured in that match and can play in a more advanced position, while Jesse Lingard could be another forward option for Solskjaer.
However, that feels more like having square pegs in round holes and again a team of United’s stature should have more natural attacking options than that.
The injuries are also likely to mount up for United as the season develops, with the Red Devils having to juggle the Europa League as well as the domestic cup competitions over the coming months.
Indeed, if Rashford and Martial, in particular, were to pick up injuries at the same time then it would leave United lacking any real notable striking options. With that in mind, you have to ask the question, why did they let such a proven international goalscorer like Sanchez go when they had no opportunity to bring in a suitable replacement?
Tom McGarry completed his sports journalist degree in 2011,and has since has become an integral part of the editorial and audio team. He is passionate about all things sport, particularly football, and is a lifelong supporter of his hometown club Carlisle United.