It’s official, Alexis Sánchez is a Manchester United player. The Chilean put pen to paper on a 4-and-a-half-year deal that’s reportedly worth over £14m a year. Some say Alexis Sánchez has chosen money over football while others claim the 29-year-old has followed his dream of playing for the biggest club in the world.
It first appeared that Manchester United’s new no.7 would be initially going to the Etihad, but the Chilean’s wage demands surprisingly priced them out. Instead, Alexis Sánchez will now be playing under Jose Mourinho at the Theatre of Dreams. But, what does the mega-move mean for other forwards already at the club, in particular, the promising Marcus Rashford?
How does the signing of Alexis Sánchez affect the future of Marcus Rashford?
Since day one, it’s quite clear that Jose Mourinho is very temperamental with his players. One game you’re his favourite, the next you’re on the bench. Players like Anthony Martial, Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and now Marcus Rashford can all testify to such.
Despite spending the first few months of the season in the starting XI, the 20-year-old has found himself coming more & more off the bench recently. In fact, Marcus Rashford has now made 11 cameos from the bench, compared to his 13 league starts. This has all coincided with Anthony Martial’s purple patch of form, so now add Alexis Sánchez to the mix and life at Old Trafford looks increasingly tricky for the youngster.
The signing of Alexis Sánchez significantly reduces the playing time of Marcus Rashford. As it stands now, United’s strongest front four is Alexis Sánchez, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial & Romelu Lukaku. That’s assuming United don’t play a 4-3-3 because if they do go to a front three, either Lingard & Martial drop out. Regardless, Marcus Rashford now finds himself lower down in an ever-increasing pecking order.
Alexis Sánchez is a goalscorer, Marcus Rashford isn’t. In 67 PL appearances for Manchester United, Marcus Rashford has only scored 14 goals. That’s 1 in 4.7 games compared to Alexis’ 60 in 122 games, that’s the difference.
Alexis (29) is the finished article, while Rashford (20) is a work in progress. On top of goalscoring prowess, Sánchez clearly contributes to team play more too. The Chilean has provided an assist (25) every 5 games while Rashford has produced 8 in his 67 games.
At best, Marcus Rashford will be only starting FA Cup games seeing as Alexis Sánchez is NOT cup-tied for the Champions League. England’s brightest young prospect’s game time has already been hampered so far, this season, the arrival of Alexis Sánchez will only continue to have a detrimental effect on his confidence. The World Cup is in the summer and the only way to ensure Rashford is in fine form for Russia will be to send him out on loan to a team of large stature.
Let’s not forget that Alexis Sánchez is 29 years old, this is his last major contract at the top level and Marcus Rashford is very much still the future of the club. But for now, only one of them can shine.