There’s no two ways about it. Manchester United’s highest-paid player had a dreadful 2018-2019 Premier League season.
Due to a variety of issues, from injuries to a loss of form and confidence, Man United Alexis Sanchez went from one of the best player’s in the world while at Barcelona and Arsenal to a shadow of his former self, in the span of a few dozen months. This season, he only made nine starts in 20 Premier League appearances, his lowest league starting total since he was a youth player in Chile. Sanchez also only finished with one Premier League goal this year.
In response, Sanchez issued an apology on Instagram, stating he didn’t perform well due to injuries and that he was confident Man United can return to days of regular success it achieved under Sir Alex Ferguson.
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Fue una temporada muy complicada, pero ellos los fans, son los únicos que se merecen unas disculpas, te apoyan siempre a pesar de todo por este club. En lo personal, no jugué todo lo que esperaba, me lesioné de cosas que nunca me habían pasado. Hay cosas internas que la gente y periodistas hablan sin saber. Siempre fui profesional en todo sentido, ofrezco disculpas a los fans 🙏🏽 por no estar peleando cosas importantes, siendo que somos el Manchester United. Jugadores y Staff saquemos conclusión, si hicimos lo correcto y entregamos lo mejor de cada uno por esta camiseta… Estoy seguro que el Manchester United, volverá a ser el club, que algún día fue, con el señor Alex Ferguson. ⬇️ 🙏🏽 It was a very tough season…the fan are the ones who deserve an apology as they always support you no matter what happens. Personally, I didn’t perform as much as I was expecting because of unpredictable injuries. Press and people were speculating of things that were not even true. I was always a professional in all aspects. I apologise to the fans 🙏 for not be able to achieve our goals,Nevertheless we are Manchester United! Players and Staff are questioning if we were doing the right thing and if we were giving our best for this football shirt … I'm certain that Manchester United one day will return to be the club, as it was in the old days with Mr. Alex Ferguson. 💪🏽….
Perhaps this was just inevitable. Although Sanchez is 30-years old, he’s already got an incredible amount of mileage in his legs. The Chilean international has been playing first team soccer since 2005, and between 2014 and 2018, he basically played five straight seasons without a summer break. He played for Chile in the 2014 World Cup, then featured for La Roja in two successive Copas America, before heading to Russia for the 2017 Confederations Cup.
All the while, Sanchez was playing day in and day out for Barcelona and Arsenal, giving everything he had, and then in the fall and spring, making the long, long flights from Spain and England to Santiago, Chile to play for his national team.
Eventually, all that travel and time on the pitch without a rest will take its toll.
Sanchez can still be a great player in the Premier League, but it’s time to adjust expectations. He no longer is at the level of a player earning a reported $21.5 million per season. Instead, hopefully he will have time to rest this summer, take six weeks to recharge his batteries and recover from his injuries, and be ready to go one more time, whether for Man United or another club, should he decide to leave.
As Man United seeks a massive overhaul of its roster, Sanchez may be one player that they can’t offload, but his never-say-die attitude that made him such a fan favorite at Arsenal could come good under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, if he’s fit and ready to go.