Manchester United expect to have Alexis Sanchez fit and raring to go for the start of their 2019-20 Premier League season.
The Chilean forward, 30, scored twice and played pretty well for Chile at the Copa America in Brazil over the past few weeks.
However, he did suffer a hamstring injury in their 2-1 defeat to Argentina in the third-place match on Saturday.
Speaking from United’s preseason tour in Australia, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Sanchez will be fit enough for the latter stages of preseason.
“I don’t think Alexis’s injury was too bad,” Solskjaer said. “When he’s due back is three weeks after his last game, so that will be just after we come back from tour. I would expect him to be fit enough to play straightaway and train straightaway.”
So, there you have it.
United are spending the next few weeks in Australia, Singapore and then China before heading back to Europe to end their preseason slate of games.
Sanchez was also going to miss the Far East and Australia portion of this trip, but it is a little disappointing he will not get a full rest and then a full preseason to impress Solskjaer.
Then again, he had the entire summer off this time 12 months ago and that didn’t really work out that well for him, did it?
Sanchez has a huge season ahead to try and resurrect his career which has stalled badly since joining United on a huge contract 18 months ago. He has scored just three PL goals in 32 appearances for United, compared to his 60 in 122 PL games for Arsenal. There were some reports he could leave United this summer, but there don’t seem to be many suitors out there after his form dipped badly and especially given the astronomical contract he signed in January 2018.
For him to be worthy of the reported $625,000 per week contract he’s on, he probably has to score at least 15 goals and add 10 assists in the Premier League alone this season. Considering he will battle it out with Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial just for playing time, that’s a big ask.
But, as has always been the case with Sanchez since he arrived at Old Trafford, we know there’s a superstar play in there somewhere.
Now is the time for him to rest up and be ready for the final weeks of preseason as United have a favorable run of games to start the new season.
If United, and Sanchez, can hit the ground running, Solskjaer has a decent chance of turning things around as the Red Devils push for the top four.
Imagine the damage a fully-fit, and focused, Sanchez could do alongside Martial and Rashford…