HOW MOURINHO CAN GET THE BEST OUT OF SANCHEZ WITHOUT DISTURBING OTHERS
Let’s be honest, Alexis Sanchez’s addition to Manchester United has been more of a burden than a blessing. The Chilean was brought in from Arsenal as part of a swap deal that took Henrikh Mkhitaryan the other way and while the Armenian has settled like duck to water at the Emirates, the only true excitement Sanchez has provided for United was that performance on the piano.
The problem is not from the player, Alexis Sanchez is a great footballer that is capable of making things happen at any team in the world but the issue is that Jose Mourinho is deploying him on the left flank which though is his best position, it disrupts the balance of the team. Let’s break it down a little further
United usually line up in a 4-3-3 formation with star midfielder Paul Pogba on the left of the midfield. With Sanchez on the left side of the attack, he tends to drop deep and get more involved in the play (especially if his team are not seeing much of the ball) which means that he intrudes into Pogba’s space. This makes the team to lose it’s shape and won’t be able to both attack and defend well.
Another issue is that of Martial/Rashford. Before the Chilean came on board, these two were the one marshalling the left attack position and they were doing a good job. Ever since Sanchez arrived, the Portuguese has had to shoehorn who ever plays out of the Frenchman and the England youngster to the right which limits their abilities, making that side a weak point, as seen in the 2-1 loss to Sevilla recently. The Special One has also tried to play the former Barcelona man as a No. 10 but we all know Sanchez is not that kind of player. Then what is the solution?
In the best interest of the team, Mourinho should stick with the 4-3-3 with Matic, Pogba and Mata in midfield while he should consider playing Sanchez on the right with Martial/Rashford on the left. With someone like Mata on the right of the midfield, he and Sanchez can easily switch positions whenever the latter feels like dropping deep. And it is sure Alexis can thrive well on the right given that he played there throughout his time with Udinese and Barcelona prior to his move to England.
If Mourinho can do this, he’ll give his latest addition more freedom, and then, United’s new No. 7 and the team generally will start to play on key.