Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed after the Boxing Day 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town that Alexis Sanchez, Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku were all in contention to return for Manchester United’s clash with AFC Bournemouth on Sunday.
“I said to the staff towards the end, next week we will have Sanchez, Martial and Lukaku then we will really finish them off,” the Norwegian noted in the aftermath.
And while Lukaku, whose goals have dried up this season, should not immediately replace the impressive Marcus Rashford at No.9, you suspect Alexis Sanchez will be bursting to play under this more aggressive system.
With that in mind, here is how Solskjaer could line up for the meeting with Eddie Howe’s side this weekend.
It goes without saying that Martial should not be displaced on the left-hand side. The damage he did against Cardiff was spellbinding.
Both Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata have occupied the other side in Solksjaer’s opening two games and the freedom to roam across the final third, picking up on pieces of space and interchanging the ball with teammates outside the box, coupled with full-backs getting forward to create further gaps, has revolutionised the way United attack.
Such a set-up should, given Sanchez’s need to play aggressively and around the box, fit the Chilean’s skill-set much better. Players like Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Martial and Rashford have played with a spring in their step under Solskjaer. Supporters will hope the same happens with Sanchez.