Alexis Sanchez’s Manchester United loan departure is almost complete. BBC Sport report the Chilean is set to sign for Inter Milan on loan.
It is claimed United will pay part of Sanchez’s wages, and there is no option to buy. In negotiating terms, its a disappointment.
Lets try and break down what this means for United going forward.
Why just a loan deal?
The ideal situation was to send Sanchez out the club permanently, and get a fee for him.
To still be paying part of his wages, a still substantial cost, and with no end in sight, means Sanchez remains a burden on United.
We are getting nothing back this season for the money spent. Of course you can look at it as money saved on his wages in total, but its not ideal.
Its a short term fix to get Sanchez out of United. In that regard it works.
If he does well at Inter, it might mean there are more potential buyers next summer.
Fans are worried
Sanchez’s imminent departure has created a surprising amount of backlash…
Pressure on Greenwood
Sanchez’s departure adds to the pressure on Mason Greenwood.
Greenwood starred for United in pre-season, but he is just 17. If he can step up, then problem solved.
If he cannot bring that form to the Premier League, then United are in a tricky spot.
Whether Sanchez could have filled it himself, is another matter, but clearly some fans felt comforted having the option.
United’s attacking options
United are thin in attack, its undeniable. We even suggested Sanchez as one of seven possible alternatives to Jesse Lingard in the number 10 role.
That’s a sign of how stretched United are, having also sold Romelu Lukaku without a replacement.
Anthony Martial may be injured this weekend, leaving Marcus Rashford and 17-year-old Greenwood as top options to lead the line.
The complaints are less about Sanchez himself, more United’s short-sighted transfer policy.
Having failed to sign a striker, it seemed logical we might turn to Sanchez as cover.
The squad is going to get really stretched when Europa League games start and injuries start to pile up. It’s worrying.
Reinforcements will need to be bought in January.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had been positive about Sanchez all summer. He told BBC Sport he hoped Sanchez could score 20 goals this season.
At some point, you have to stop hoping blindly and take a practical view.
The writing was probably on the wall from the moment he got injured at the Copa America.
Most pressingly, it appears Sanchez wanted out. Solskjaer was willing to give him a chance, but somewhere over the last fortnight, he has relented.
If Sanchez’s mind is elsewhere, is he really worth keeping, and blocking the path to younger talent who actually want to be at the club?
Just one goal, he’s replaceable
There has to be perspective with regard to Sanchez leaving.
He contributed just one Premier League goal all of last season. New signing Dan James already has more this season after three games.
His final game against Huddersfield was terrible at the end of last season.
Sanchez had no shots at goal, and was substituted off after 53 minutes with a hamstring injury.
Sanchez had a couple of positive moments in his first few months at United, a goal against Tottenham, assists against City.
Even the FA Cup goal against Arsenal earlier this year brought brief cheer.
Apart from that, he was absolutely terrible and will go down as one of the most disastrous signings in United’s history.
There will be no final redemption for him at Old Trafford.
He is our best ever paid player, and United are still stuck paying his wages while he heads off to Italy.
There was so much hope when he signed. But his talent has evaporated, like a basketball player in the movie ‘Space Jam’.
His second half performance at home to PSG last season was one of the worst in recent memory.
Taking the gamble on Sanchez was a risk which didn’t pay off, and will still be a problem for the club to address next summer.
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