Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed why he allowed Alexis Sanchez to leave the club this summer.
Sanchez joined Inter Milan on a season-long loan on Thursday, linking up with Romelu Lukaku who made a permanent move to the San Siro earlier in the month.
Why was Sanchez allowed to leave Man Utd? Five things to know…
- Alexis Sanchez joined Manchester United from Arsenal in January 2018.
- But the Chilean has struggled, scoring just five goals in 45 games.
- Sanchez failed to make an appearance in United’s first three games of the campaign.
- He has now sealed a move to Inter Milan on loan until June 2020.
- And Solskjaer his trust in United’s younger forwards allowed Sanchez to leave.
The Chilean initially joined United from Arsenal in January 2018 but has had a tough 18-months in Manchester, struggling to find the form that saw his transfer met with delight from fans.
Sanchez scored just five goals and recorded nine assists in 45 games for United, and had not made an appearance this season before his move.
His departure leaves United with Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood as their recognised centre forwards at least until January. And Solskjaer insists he trusts the young trio.
“I’m trusting Anthony, Marcus, Mason to be our centre-forwards,” he told reporters.
“We’ve got wingers in Chongy [Tahith Chong], Dan James, [Andreas] Pereira. We’ve loads of options.
“For me it’s time for our boys to feel that pressure and responsibility, to be more robust, to know they have to play five games in a row. I trust the fitness staff and medical staff and the pre-season work; we’re mentally and physically more ready. That’s the next step for our young players.
“Alexis needed to go – at the moment we know he’s been here for 18 months and it’s not really worked out for him. For him to restart and get himself playing regularly and scoring goals, that will only benefit everyone in the end. For us we’re going to watch every weekend to see Romelu and Alexis playing together. He [Sánchez] will come good for them.”
United have scored six goals in three Premier League games so far, with Martial, Rashford and Daniel James all managing two each. But the Red Devils will have to make do without Martial for their trip to Southampton due to injury, leaving Rashford and Greenwood as the two striking options – the latter having played only 39 minutes this season.
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Solskjaer: I’ll always speak to Zlatan
Amid talks of Manchester United being short in the striking department, former Red Devils forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic insisted he would still be able to compete in the Premier League.
The 37-year-old is currently plying his trade in MLS with LA Galaxy and joked about potentially returning to help United.
He said: “I could play easy in the Premier League, so if United need me, I’m here. But Galaxy has me, so I’m sorry.”
And Solskjaer revealed he would talk to the striker if he was serious about returning, before admitting his belief Ibrahimovic was just joking.
Solskjaer told reporters: “Well, if he was 28 and not 38 next month it’s a big difference.
“But Zlatan has had a great time here and of course he’s still doing well. He was just unfortunate that he got his injury when he got it here.
“He never rented my house but he was looking at it and we can speak a native language. If he’s serious, I’ll always speak to Zlatan.
“I don’t think that’ll happen, no. He’s had a fantastic career and I wouldn’t expect him to be serious either when he said that.”