Alexis Sanchez finally got an overdue rest this summer, with Chile failing to reach the World Cup finals.
That break, alongside his six months to get used to life at Old Trafford, was seen as the catalyst United fans craved. Yet, despite a promising pre-season, Sanchez has carried on where he left off in the previous campaign.
The 29-year-old may have scored the winning goal against Newcastle United but that strike, much like the result, papered over the cracks.
Now Mourinho has said his highest paid player is lacking sharpness due to an ongoing injury. But that is the complete opposite of what United fans expected.
“He is the kind of player that needs to be really sharp to play his best game,” Mourinho told the Daily Mail.
But how much sharper can a player be after a full summer to rest and a complete pre-season to prepare?
Sanchez should have hit the ground running at United. It was a huge move for a player once regarded as among the best in Europe.
Even with his struggles last season, United fans expected better this time round. He was rested, he was sharp, and his pre-season showings hinted at better to come.
And yet the malaise continues, with a lack of sharpness and a minor injury now being blamed. It is more than that. It is an unwillingness to run, to create, to do anything of note.
Most alarmingly of all, there is no sign of a change.