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Why signing Alexis Sanchez has done more harm than good for Manchester United

ANALYST
Feature
2.42K   //    25 Feb 2018, 11:51 IST

Manchester United v Huddersfield Town - Premier League
Alexis looking glum during United's Premier League win over Huddersfield Town

Alexis Sanchez’s move to Manchester United in January was greeted with much fanfare by supporters of the Red Devils across the globe.

The Chilean's arrival from rivals Arsenal was described by many as a fantastic coup, especially after Jose Mourinho gazumped the efforts of rivals Manchester City to acquire the signature of the highly-rated forward.

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However, six matches into his career at Old Trafford, things have not gone quite according to plan with Sanchez struggling to stamp his authority when they need him most.

At his best, the former Udinese and Barcelona winger is a thorn in the flesh of any opposition defence - but this sort of ruthless form in the final third has deserted him during his first month as a United player.

Alexis Sanchez
Sanchez has scored just once in six games for Manchester United

What's more worrying is the fact that his arrival appears to be causing more harm than good to Jose Mourinho's side. There are some who believe the Portuguese brought him in as he's eager to get one over old adversary Pep Guardiola. Such an assertion may be far-fetched, but it is a fact that Jose has not quite figured out yet how best to use the 29-year-old in his current setup.

In his first six games, Sanchez has played on the left, right and through the middle of attack for the Red Devils as he's being tried and tested across various positions to find where he best fits currently.

Position changes and dips in form elsewhere too

That's not even as big a conundrum as the one which turned in-form Anthony Martial into a peripheral figure in recent weeks. Before Alexis' arrival, the France international was running the show in United's frontline and had made the left-wing position his own.

However, the former Monaco star has since been shifted to the right side in order to accomodate the Chilean. It's no surprise then, that Martial has suffered a drastic drop in form as a result.

That is a player who had netted nine Premier League goals playing as a left winger and one who was also gradually getting back to his best. However, his minutes on the field have been reduced since Sanchez's inclusion, who has now taken Martial's previous position on the left side.

Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League
Pictured here during their loss to Newcastle, Martial has netted eleven and created 9 assists this term across all competitions - none since Alexis joined.

Then there is also the problem of Paul Pogba, who has not been at his creative best over the past few weeks. The former Juventus midfielder appears to have been destabilised by Sanchez's arrival and perhaps is beginning to doubt whether he is indeed United's star - which he would have thought upon returning to Manchester in 2016.

That, coupled with the fact that the Chilean forward is now the club's highest-paid player, seems to have made Pogba insecure and is evident by his recent fallout with Mourinho.

A player of Sanchez's ability will definitely improve any side across Europe, but it currently looks like precisely the opposite for Mourinho and his United side.

The winger has scored one and created two assists in six games, stalled Martial's imperious form and his status appears to have negatively affected Pogba. That can only mean that his signing has, already, done more harm than good to the 20-time English champions and is definitely something they need to quickly resolve.

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ANALYST
I am a student of journalism, likes to read good articles and a passionate football fan.
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