Manchester United banter 81586


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06 Feb 2019 11:11:16
What do we do with an enigma like Alexis Sanchez? Our most handsomely paid player is perhaps the biggest quandary of the post Mourinho era.

I can't confess to watching him that closely at Arsenal or even Barcelona but my perception of the player was that of flying winger/ inside forward capable of dribbling with the ball at pace, beating men and posing a significant goal threat. If I hadn't watched him more closely I'd have said he would have been perfect for Solskjear's new quick, powerful and fluid counter attacking revolution however my perception of the player doesn't match the reality. Maybe I miscalculated him or perhaps he has lost a yard of pace meaning he is unable to carry the ball over longer distances or capable of making penetrating runs in behind but whichever is the truth he's endured an alarmingly ineffectual and frustrating 12 months at Utd.

In our fresh, youthful, vibrant and exciting front four Rashford provides the pace and penetration, Martial the width and dancing feet, Lingard the perpetual motion and intelligent movement; Pogba is the maverick conductor and powerful runner. Within that quartet we possess every ingredient required to forge a dangerous and potent attacking threat.

Sanchez's most prolific season came playing as a CF and having watched him over the past 12 months I can see why. I now see Sanchez as more of a box player. He has good mobility and movement. His low centre of gravity means he can turn quickly and manipulate the ball in tight areas. Despite his diminutive stature he first touch and hold up play is often consistent and assured. He possess a great leap and is deceptively good in the air. Whilst he may have lost a touch of pace, he's still sharpe and his acceleration over short distances hasn't degraded. I no longer think that he's suited to his wide left position. Nor do I think he'd perform any better than Lingard if he was moved to right like some have suggested. Moving forward I think Sanchez is now best suited (certainly under Solskjear) to playing more centrally either on his own or slightly deeper at 10. I think he could provide the creativity if Pogba was unavailable and his greater mobility and movement might be more suited to Solskjear's style than Lukaku should Rashford be unavailable. Whatever the truth maybe I think Sanchez will now have to settle for a supporting role than than a staring one. Unfortunately we haven't acquired the world class talent we all envisaged and his astronomical wages perhaps pose the biggest challenge when it comes to renegotiating the contracts of our established world class talent in De Gea and Pogba! Maybe China can come to our rescue once again! I think we've seen the best of Alexis Sanchez unfortunately it wasn't in a Utd shirt.

{Ed001's Note - he has never been a fast paced dribbler mate. He was more of a pinpoint delivery creative player when out wide. Rather than banging a cross in hoping someone gets to it, he would pass it into the box to a forward, or slip inside and hit a shot. Very much tight areas dribbler rather than a flying winger.}

Agree1 Disagree0

06 Feb 2019 11:36:17
Yeah I misjudged him Ed001. I think he plays too deep out wide and occupies the same space as Pogba. As we don't have a dribbler wide right it all becomes too narrow and we lack penetration especially when Lukaku plays as well. Maybe if we had that balance on the right he might be more effective. He reminds me a bit of Mata when he plays on the right. On the periphery of the game without the necessary pace or drive to really effect the game and the balance of the team just isn't there. I still think he's a very good player but needs to play more centrally at Utd in my opinion.

06 Feb 2019 12:32:16
His physiology best explains the type of player he is.

Short and stocky, strong with a low centre of gravity, quick over short distances but his stride length isn't big enough to be quick over a longer distance.

He is not a player who can play deep, that is why his best season was when he played as a striker. The closer you get him to the opposition penalty box the more dangerous he is.

He would be a huge hit at City, their style means they are camped outside the opposition penalty box for 60% of the game. Sanchez would be in his element. Yet in our system starting 20 yards deeper and wide of the goal means there is too much ground between him and the goal for him to be at his most effective.

I think like you he would be a good rotation option with Rashford in the central striker role. Probably more suited to that role under Solskjaer than Lukaku is to be honest.

Which brings me to the real conundrum, what do we do with Lukaku if Ole gets the job full time?

06 Feb 2019 12:38:09
More of an inside forward than a winger. Lots of energy, excellent close control, and good passing ability. However, he is at his best when given a free role, and unlimited licence to cut inside and shoot. I don’t think he is a good fit for the club with Pogba in the team, and his confidence seems to be absolutely shot.

For me, he’s a player who performs in accordance with his role in the team - if he is central to the attacking strategy he will perform, if he isn’t he’ll just drift by on the periphery. If we can sell him, it will be an achievement.

06 Feb 2019 13:13:03
Snappy, I’d be interested to know what you would do with Lukaku also?

My decision would be to recoup as much as possible on Lukaku and Sanchez. That would raise in excess of £100m which would cover the Varane/ Koulibaly purchase. They would need replacing of course, but by younger more dynamic players like Pepe and Werner.

06 Feb 2019 13:22:06
I said it ages ago its either him or Pogba in the team. They both want a free role and play very similar.

Id stikl get rid of Sanchez and keep Lukaku if he accepts to be second choice .

06 Feb 2019 13:22:30
Back up striker to rashford (which pushes lukaku further out of the door) or back up to pogba in a second striker/ number 10 sort of role.

Sanchez problem is that at arsenal where he played his best everything went through him, he was their talisman. At united that player is pogba, whether people like it or not, our best attacking play goes through him. Plus under solskjaer we prefer to hit teams on the counter and attack at speed which doesn't suit sanchez at aged 30+.

The reality is the club either sold him a pipe dream that we would build the team around him or he made an extraordinarily daft decision to come to us and reject man city.

Like shappy said Imagine him playing up front in guardiolas system with sterling, sane, kdb, b silva, d silva and even ben mendy laying it on a plate for himself. Would be scoring for fun.

06 Feb 2019 14:48:50
Fresh, Lukaku is a tough one.

On one hand he is a model professional, works hard and is dedicated. While his goalscoring record speaks for itself. One of the youngest players ever to score 100 EPL goals, and most of them coming for West Bromwich or Everton so sides that don't always have the upper hand in games. So he is clearly very talented and actually produces an end product.

While on the other hand his movement and his first touch isn't very good. His movement could be improved with training, yet his first touch is unlikely to at this stage. I think he has made a mistake in putting on too much muscle, power isn't his forte, that extra weight slows him down and will make his first touch worse. He has never relied on power, he has always been strong, but that comes from core strength, the extra muscle doesn't improve that. I don't see how he fits into how Ole wants to play. His movement, hold up play and link play just isn't good enough as a lone striker. Which leaves him as second or even third choice striker for us. Which for a 75m striker in his prime isn't where he will want to be.

I would be tempted to sell him this summer, recoup as much as we can from his sale. I feel if we keep h for another season and he doesn't play much then that will only decrease his value.

However, I wouldn't look to directly replace him. I'd look to keep Sanchez for another season as back up to Rashford along with Martial. Then at the end of next season move Sanchez on with Greenwood stepping up. I would look to sign a dynamic and creative wide player to give us more options. Hirving Lozano, Nicolas Pepe or look closer to home with players like David Brooks or James Maddison.

Lozano would probably be my pick.

06 Feb 2019 15:21:26
Shappy, I think Lukaku can improve many areas of his game with training focused on it. You’re right about the muscle, and he has admitted as much. Bad advice from coaches trying there. He is very hard working, and is obviously going through a tough time this season. However, I still think he can be a key part of our squad. He has show a willingness to adapt, and do a different job for the team.

You have to remember that for much of his career he has been used as an outball for teams looking to sit deep and break quickly (including here under Jose) . Give him some time to adapt, and see how he performs.

06 Feb 2019 15:24:41
Sanchez looks to of lost a yard but he needs a run of games. Struggled as did many under jose and had a injury hit stop start season so far.
But i think a run of games will do him the world of good as will a different manager . I would expect him to improve over the coming months.

06 Feb 2019 16:40:56
I agree with jred.
But a run of games at who's expense?
I think sanchez could play nearly every week. As a rotation player for any of our front 4 as he could play any of the roles well.

06 Feb 2019 16:50:54
Id look to sell both. It frees up almost 700k in wages. That covers a top class centre back and right back and a young midfielder as well. Bring up greenwood and chong/ gomes and look for another player who could step in.

06 Feb 2019 17:05:41
Danny, I wouldn't be against keep Lukaku for another year and seeing if he can adapt. My concern is that I don't think he will be able to. There is a difference between learning a new way of playing and learning/ improving skills. At 25 very few players I prove their basic skills, they just learn how to best use the skills they have.

Jred, it's clear he needs a run of games, yet I don't think we will see a huge improvement in Sanchez if played in the wide positions. He needs to be closer/ in the box.

His best form at Arsenal or at any time in his career for that matter was while he played as a No.9.

Which means dropping Rashford and Lukaku to play Sanchez there. I don't see that happening. So I doubt a run of games in a wider position will allow us to see the best of Sanchez.

One of Lukaku or Sanchez needs to move on this summer as neither will hit their peak if Ole gets the job.

06 Feb 2019 17:50:30
Sanchez will be difficult to shift- age and current wages and Lukaku :unless he improves I cannot see a great return on the price we paid with the kicker being if, IF he improves then why look to shift him? His goal record isn't attrocious after all and he has been asked to change his style of play already.
My biggest concern will be the pogba enigma- when he wasnt performing as well as of late many wouldn't of lost sleep if he was gone and reportedly he was offered/ touted as being available. Another player that if he continues in his current vein of form is invaluable to the team but no doubt may attract the very clubs who have recently resisted bidding, Juve, PSG, Barcelona etc.
Dilemma for all concerned but at least we are watching better play.

06 Feb 2019 19:40:59
I would sell both, Lukaku because he simply doesn’t fit to what we need, and Sanchez because he has been dire from day 1, I don’t remember one good game. The odd moment perhaps but that’s it. Their salaries will be immense and I think we will still get decent money for them, invest it and but the necessary reinforcements, a top class CB and CM, a Matic replacement or back up, and possibly a full back.

That would send out a clear message that reputations count for nothing, do it on the pitch or move on.

07 Feb 2019 09:51:17
I'm still adament that there's a superb player hiding somewhere inside sanchez. If we agree that his best positions would be central striker or creator, then he's perfect backup to Rashford and Pogba. Having 1 player to cover those two positions is perfect, as he'll get the game time with two spaces to cover and he has the quality to actually do the Job. I'd much rather keep him and sell lukaku, purely in terms of how they could fit into the team.

That said, I could see lukaku going to a other team and banging in 25 goals a season and us regretting letting him go. He's undeniably a good player, I just don't feel he suits our style. But I'm also almost certainly guilty of viewing sanchez through rose tinted glasses, and lukaku through sh*t smeared ones.



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