Statistics highlight Sanchez’s slow start at Manchester United
Chilean’s first 10 matches for United compare unfavourably to the same period at Arsenal.
Alexis Sanchez has been criticised for a slow start at Manchester United – and the statistics back it up.
The Chile forward was lured from Arsenal in January to add to United’s firepower, with his signing greeted with unforgettable bombast.
Fast forward almost two months, though, and results have been mixed to say the least.
Sanchez’s presence was among the factors blamed for United’s Champions League exit to Sevilla this week, with suggestions Jose Mourinho’s line-up has become unbalanced in an attempt to fit his new signing in.
He has scored only one goal in his first 10 appearances, and even that was a follow-up after his own penalty was saved by Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl.
He has two assists to his name, both in the FA Cup, setting up goals for Ander Herrera against Yeovil on his debut and Romelu Lukaku in the next round against the Terriers, and has been substituted in half of his games to date.
Compare that to his start at Arsenal over the same number of appearances and a contrast emerges.
Granted, Sanchez took five games to score his first goal after moving from Barcelona in 2014, compared to three with United – but once he broke his duck with a Champions League play-off winner against Besiktas, he scored in three straight games and four out of five.
There was also an assist on his league debut against Crystal Palace as he made a flying start to life in north London, despite being left on the bench for the derby with Tottenham.
Over his Gunners career as a whole, he actually improved from that record of four goals in 10 games to eventually record 79 in 164 – 0.48 per game – as well as 41 assists, one every four games.
A pair of FA Cup winner’s medals helped embellish a trophy cabinet containing league titles from three countries – though not yet England – and he became the focal point of the team even while operating primarily in a wide left position.
While it is early days at Old Trafford and Mourinho has put his trouble acclimatising down to moving in the mid-season window, Sanchez has work to do to gel with the likes of Lukaku, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford and become a go-to man for the Red Devils.