'Sanchez is still a great player' - Van Persie backs Man Utd flop to turn career around amid Inter links

Getty Images
The Chile star has endured a torrid 18 months since swapping Arsenal for the Red Devils but could revitalise his career in Italy

Former Manchester United star Robin van Persie has backed Alexis Sanchez to recover from a nightmare spell at Old Trafford and regain the form that once saw him marked as one of the world's elite forwards. 

Alexis was the subject of a fierce transfer tug of war back in January 2018 between United and their Manchester rivals City, with the Red Devils eventually gaining the upper hand to sign the Chilean from Arsenal

But the player has proved a bitter disappointment at Old Trafford, falling far short of expectations amid injuries and apparent crises of confidence under Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. 

Now his time in England may be drawing to a close, with Inter strongly linked with an initial loan move to cut his United hell short. 

And Van Persie suggested that a fresh start may be exactly what Alexis needs to relaunch his career.

“He doesn’t look happy to me,” the ex-Netherlands international explained to BT Sport.

“I can’t properly judge it because I am not working with him but when I see him play I rarely see him smiling.

“Of course, I get it when you are playing you need to be serious and you want to win but after you score a goal you can smile, because that is the point of football.

“We all play football because we like it and if you like something you should smile.”

If Alexis does complete a move to Inter he will be the second United man to seek sanctuary at San Siro this summer. 

Lukaku Inter

Romelu Lukaku is already confirmed in the Nerazurri squad after suffering in a similar vein to the Chilean at the Premier League giants.

Van Persie believes that the pressure of performing at Old Trafford can be too much even for players of Lukaku and Sanchez's ability.

“I think in the first couple of months after his move he was happy and he was playing well," he said of Alexis.

“Mentally he needs to find that happiness again because if you are happy then you are fitter, you want to create and you want to have fun.

“So I think he should find a way to be happier again.”

“I don’t know if it’s the pressure. Pressure is something you can’t see or touch but he has to manage that in his head

“But he is still the same great player.

Article continues below

“He has it all: he’s fast, he can assist, he can dribble, and he can score.

“There is just a lot of negativity around him from fans and people who have opinions on social media.

“Maybe it’s all become a little too much for him. He just needs to block it out, find his true happiness and just enjoy football.”