Sunday 20 October 2019

'Like a bottle of ketchup' - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's curious explanation for Alexis Sanchez's woes at Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United have a decision to make over the future of Alexis Sanchez
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United have a decision to make over the future of Alexis Sanchez
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Alexis Sanchez to rediscover his best form, with the interim Manchester United manager suggesting the club's highest paid player may be just one sparkling performance away from getting back to his best.

Sanchez has failed to spark at United since his lucrative move from Arsenal in January 2018, with Solskjaer admitting the Chilean needed to rediscover himself after a slump in fortunes following his poor showing in last Tuesday's Champions League defeat against Paris Saint-Germain.

Ahead of Monday night's FA Cup fifth round game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Solskjaer has backed his No.7 to silence his doubters in the final weeks of the season.

"I think he's a very good player, he's very talented but of course there are only so many things you can sit down and talk about and tweak," stated Solskjaer.

"If he could just get that goal I'm sure that will release some of his confidence. That's what it's about when you go through periods that you don't perform up to your standard because we know there is a very, very good player there.

"It's just one of those things, like a bottle of ketchup when it never comes but then when it suddenly comes, loads comes out. When it comes, it comes. I'm sure he'll be fine.

"He can still play for many, many years. He's been here for a year, I've been here for two months now and he's been injured for the first part of it.

"It's unfair to just expect him to be at the top straight away. I'm sure we'll see the best of him (from now) until the end of the season."

Solskjaer refused to be drawn on rumours Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard could return more quickly than expected in a week that will conclude with Liverpool's trip to Old Trafford, with the United boss eager to play down expectations around his side's trip to Stamford Bridge.

"I'm not going to say it's the last chance because we're going to go down to Paris and give it a go," he added. "Of course the chance of going through there is slimmer now than it was before the game.

"There's quite a few heads there where their pride has been hurt so I'm sure they'll bounce back on Monday.

"We need every player to perform at the best level because we're challenging to be top four, we're challenging against very, very good teams so we need the players to step up now.

"You'd expect that at Manchester United towards the end of the season. You always do well towards the end of the season."

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