The signs were there and many ignored them
Yes, overall Sanchez performances at Arsenal were noteworthy and deserving of praise but his last half season at Arsenal was easily the most disappointing spell of his time there. The basics will explain away this fact by attributing it to being denied a match made in heaven move to Manchester City but the struggles go past that. You see, the start of last season saw Arsenal experiment with a 3-4-3 formation that saw Sanchez played in a unfamiliar attacking midfield role behind Alexander Lacazette. The result? Lots of touches for Sanchez in areas devoid of danger. Sounds familiar? It’s only gotten worse at United.
Sanchez’s starting position on the left of United’s attack in theory is a position he should thrive in but the reality of the situation is that his best form over the last few years for both club and country had resulted from his moving further off the wing and closer to the opposition’s penalty box. With Mourinho sticking Sanchez out on the left of United’s attack combining with his own tendency to go searching for the ball the result is an incoherent attack where the components struggle to get the best out of each other. Sanchez has been accused of losing the ball at a high rate through being dispossessed or through failing to complete passes and these things are valid concerns. Lack of care of the ball puts pressure on a team, especially when you’re losing the ball closer to your goal than the opponents. But here’s a hard truth – Sanchez is the type of player where one must put up with him being tackled and losing the ball. Sanchez is the type of player you accept having a lower than 80% pass completion rate due to his tendency to try elaborate and ultimately deadly passes.