This seems to be the question everyone is trying to answer.
Pundits, experts and fans are all wondering what is up with the Chilean winger, who got his United career to a fast start but has been vastly underwhelming in the past few weeks. Or months, actually. Alexis has not looked like the dominant player he was at Arsenal, and some pundits have even said United “signed Alexis’ twin brother” in reference to his poor displays.
One does not have to be a genius to see something is wrong with the Chilean winger. He has not looked comfortable, struggles to find spaces, and has not been able to establish rapport with his teammates yet. His partnership with Romelu Lukaku has not really worked out, and Alexis just does not seem to be on the same rhythm as his teammates.
So… is there something wrong with him? Surprisingly, no.
Jose Mourinho said it best in one of his recent press conferences. “Criticism? Right now in England there’s criticism for almost everyone – not everybody, but almost everyone. He’s not a kid – he’s a lad with many years of football and many years of experience. I don’t think a player from a club like Barcelona and a national team like Chile is easy. It brings pressure. I am sure next season will be even better than this, that’s normal.”
That last part seems to be a key element in his speech. “Next season will be even better than this”, Mou said. And that’s exactly what should happen. Fans tend to forget that players are human beings that need to live through some adjustment periods in order to be successful, and that is what Sanchez is going through right now. He is trying to settle in Manchester after spending several years in London, and to be honest, it has been the case every time he signs with a new club.
It happened in River Plate. It happened in Udinese. And it certainly happened both in Barcelona and Arsenal. Fans from these two sides also called him with words such as “flop” and “bust” whenever he was not performing at his best. However, he won them over with time. And this time, it shouldn’t be any different.
Alexis just needs time to show he can handle the pressure of playing for United. Wearing n°7 is no easy task, but the Chilean should be up for it. He has proven to be a world-class player in the past, and he has gotten better with time. He just needs to settle and his best version will come with time. Even if we have to wait for the 2018-19 season to witness it.