Jamie Jackson on 21 May 2018
Alexis Sánchez has admitted he has struggled to adapt to José Mourinho’s style of play since joining Manchester United from Arsenal.
The Chilean failed to make an impact during United’s 1-0 FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday and, in general, has only intermittently shone for United since arriving at Old Trafford in January as part of the deal that saw Henrik Mkhitaryan move to north London. Sánchez has managed only three goals in 18 appearances and is often on the periphery during matches.
“I think that in every game I’ve played in I’ve maybe found it hard to adapt to the style of play and I’ve been getting to know my team-mates,” said Sánchez.
The loss to Chelsea meant United ended the season without a trophy, but Sánchez, speaking before the encounter with Antonio Conte’s side, is optimistic about the future. “I believe that United really is a very big club on a worldwide scale and even more so in England where it’s the biggest,” the 29-year-old said. “They always want to win and to be fighting on all fronts and that’s the reason I wanted to come here.
“I also had some great players alongside me at Barcelona, some highly experienced guys who had great quality. I think that United are not too dissimilar as a club to them in their size and stature. However, we still have areas where we can improve, and we can do this day-to-day and a game-to-game basis. I believe we need to improve in all aspects.”
United finished second to Manchester City, their highest place since the title win in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last season five years ago. Yet their 81 points still left them 19 behind Pep Guardiola’s team. Sánchez believes the away losses to the three promoted sides – Huddersfield Town, Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle – ultimately proved costly.
“We need to be focused and concentrated in the big games and the same in the so-called lesser games too,” he said. “That’s what the great sides do and I think United are a great side, so that’s what we need to do. Manchester United is a massive club that always aspires to win big trophies and that is what I’m trying to make happen. I want to try and keep improving so we can see the club winning trophies.”