Former Manchester United star Paul Ince believes Alexis Sanchez rues the day he signed for Manchester United and says he believes he now regrets the decision not to join Manchester City.
The Chilean has spent the 2019/20 season on loan with Inter Milan but has managed just 15 appearances and one goal during his time at the San Siro, meaning it is highly unlikely that the Italian giants will look to offer him a permanent deal.
The 31-year-old will therefore return to Old Trafford at the end of the current campaign, where he still has two years remaining on his gigantic contract worth £500,000 a week before tax.
United brought in Sanchez in a high-profile exchange swap deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan in January 2018, the huge wages on offer at Old Trafford seeing the Red Devils win the day ahead of initial interest from Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Ince believes United will have expected Sanchez to have a similar impact at the club as Bruno Fernandes has in his first few months at the club, while also suggesting the Chilean will be kicking himself after not signing for the blue half of Manchester.
“I bet Alexis wishes he’d gone to City, like he was supposed to.
“United was never, ever the right move for him; the team wasn’t settled and their style of play wasn’t conducive to him.
“And he was clearly desperate to make an impact. Look at the way Bruno Fernandes has hit the ground running at Old Trafford, that’s what Sanchez wanted, and was expected to do.
“But he didn’t get a lot of game time, he was used out of position, so when he did play he started to come deeper and deeper to get on the ball, to try and influence the game, and that wasn’t his game.”
Ince, however, reckons Sanchez could yet salvage his career at Old Trafford, saying earlier this week: “I wouldn’t rule out Sanchez going back to United and being a key part of their team next season. Football is a funny old game.
“I’ve been in the situation as a manager where I’ve thought ‘right, I’m going to get rid of him and him’ but when it comes to it you can’t get the deal done, so they stay at the club.
“Then pre-season comes around and they’re a totally different player to the season before, and they’re your key man the next season. So Sanchez could definitely go back to United, look fantastic in training, and bang suddenly he’s important to their plans after all.”
Merson tips Alexis Sanchez to have Man Utd impact
That is a view shared by Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson, who also reckons the new season will allow Sanchez the chance to reinvent himself at Old Trafford and still resurrect his career with the club.
“Manchester United keeping hold of Alexis Sanchez and bringing him back into the fold would come as no surprise,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“I can understand Sanchez coming back to play a part at Old Trafford because, on his day, he is a great player.
“He could come back, work hard and be a success because you can’t go from being that good at Arsenal to be that bad at Manchester United, you just can’t.
“It’s definitely a better United than the one he left.
“They were flying before the suspension of the league.
“They’ve had some excellent performances and some brilliant results so that will benefit him too.
“He’s got to come back and appreciate he’s at one of the biggest clubs in the world, if not the biggest.
“There is logic in Sanchez going back at Old Trafford, he’s a top player and if they can get even half the player he was at Barcelona and Arsenal back, he’ll be an asset.”
United’s attack could have a new look next season after reports on Easter Sunday strongly linked them with a £200m move for one of the best in the business.