Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has rubbished rumours that Alexis Sanchez is training with the reserves, saying that the forward is “quality”.
It had been reported this week that the Chilean had been exiled from the first-team at United’s Carrington training base, a story which Solskjaer has categorically denied.
Sanchez’s United nightmare: Five things to know…
- Alexis Sanchez scored 24 goals and registered 10 assists for Arsenal during the 2016/17 Premier League season.
- He joined Man Utd in January 2018 in a swap deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
- The winger has scored just five goals in 45 games for the Red Devils.
- He started just nine league games last season.
- Sanchez was one of the standout players at the Copa America this summer.
Speaking to reporters ahead of United’s clash with Wolves this weekend, Solskjaer said: “Alexis is such a professional and he comes in working every single day, really hard, and he wants to be a part of this.
“It’s these stories again that he’s been put in the reserves and all this – of course he hasn’t.
“He’s part of our squad and he’s a very, very good player. He’s had three weeks now, so he’s a few weeks behind the rest, but he’s very close to being part of it.
“We expect him to come good at this club, he’s quality. We’ve had behind closed doors games, and we will gradually integrate him into playing. We’ll be arranging a few more [behind closed doors games].
“We don’t have the biggest forward line and he may end up playing a lot more games than you expect. We expect him to come good and he is quality.”
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Could Sanchez leave Old Trafford?
Solskjaer was defiant with his words regarding Sanchez: it appears the Chilean is very much part of his first-team plans for the upcoming season, despite reports linking him with a loan move to Roma.
It is unsurprising that the club claim they are willing to persevere with the forward. Sanchez was nothing short of sensational at Arsenal but has failed to even come close to replicating that form up north. Arsenal fans will tell you that they saw this coming, that Sanchez was deteriorating before he left the Emirates.
The domestic window may be closed, meaning United would have to wait until January before replacing Sanchez, but whether this will deter the club from selling should they get the right offer is a different matter. After all, he is the club’s highest-paid player and, after an impressive pre-season, United will be keen to make sure the development of 17-year-old Mason Greenwood is not blocked.