Alexis Sanchez’s miserable start to life at Manchester United hit a new low on Tuesday as his side were dumped out of the Champions League by Sevilla.
The Chilean forward had little impact as Man United fell to a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford – indeed, it could be argued that he was something of a liability, giving the ball away 43 times over the course of the 90 minutes.
With Marcus Rashford starring in the left-side role that Sanchez has mostly been occupying since his arrival in January, there have now been calls in some quarters to drop the former Arsenal and persist with the most in-form trio available.
Analysing the match for BT Sport on Tuesday night, pundits Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes all joined in with that consensus, arguing that Alexis simply isn’t in good enough form to justify his place in the starting eleven right now.
Scholes took the lead and argued that Rashford deserves the place in the team more than Sanchez on current form:
“They keep spending money and yet you hear they are supposedly three or four players away.
“There are players in that United squad to play good attacking football.
“We found it strange after Saturday. [Rashford] played up the right side to bring Sanchez into his best position. I think Marcus’ best position is on the left side. [Sanchez] gave the ball away so many times.
“Surely your manager has to say, you’ve had 10 games now, the last four or five games he’s not been good. I think he has to choose his best front three and be brave enough to leave one out. At the minute Sanchez has to be left out.”
Gerrard joined in, claiming that none of Man United’s big players were playing for their manager out there on the pitch:
“If you want to progress you need your big players to perform. None of them turned up for Mourinho tonight.
“I think it’s to get the best out of Sanchez but, for me, flipping Rashford on the right side would help United no end here.”
Finally, Ferdinand, who, like his fellow pundits, has won the Champions League, says that Sanchez looks a shadow of the player he was at Arsenal:
“Sanchez looks like a shadow of his former self,”
“When he was at Arsenal, he was a player everyone looked to for inspiration. Here he looks like a stranger.
“When you go to a new team, you don’t lose your talent. Something isn’t going for him.”
Man United will look to get their season back on track this weekend as they take on Brighton in the FA Cup, which now takes on a greater level of importance as the only trophy that they are still competing for this season.