Andy Cole: Alexis Sanchez is trying too hard at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole believes Alexis Sanchez is trying too hard to impress under Jose Mourinho.

The Chilean has endured a difficult first ten games in a Man United shirt, managing just one goal and two assists in total.

His worst performance came during the 2-1 defeat to Sevilla last week and he was left out of the starting XI for United’s FA Cup win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

And Cole believes his struggles at Old Trafford stem from him straining too much to have an impact on the pitch.

“Alexis Sanchez is a superb player,” he said. “I think sometimes when you try too hard to impress, to give too much, sometimes it goes against you.”

“Arsenal play a different way to United however you look at it. You have got to consider those factors when you look at it. The lad is playing the same way he did at Arsenal even though United are playing a different way but I’m sure it will turn around for him.”

At Arsenal, Sanchez really did have to do it all sometimes. He would often drop right back to where Granit Xhaka and receive the ball, drive play forward, and bust a gut to be on the end of it.

And he has, to the detriment of United’s attacking rhythm, continued to do this under Mourinho. How often against did we see Sanchez in his own half receive the ball, as if he needed to everything himself for his own sanity, only to not be there for the resultant flick on?

Mourinho likes his attacking players to find good positions in the final third – to be in position to supply that killer ball – and Sanchez simply is not doing that. He is still very new to his teammates but he simply needs to have more trust in them and remain in his position higher up the pitch.

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