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‘Alexis Sanchez will be wishing he’d gone to Man City’ – United switch always a ‘mistake’, says Ince

19:36 BST 11/04/2020
Alexis Sanchez Man Utd 2018
The Chile international forward was expected to move to the Etihad Stadium when leaving Arsenal, but the Red Devils swooped in to secure his signature

Alexis Sanchez will be wishing he had linked up with Manchester City rather than United, says Paul Ince, with Old Trafford never the right fit for an expensive “mistake”.

The highly rated Chile international forward appeared destined to head for the Etihad Stadium when an exit door opened at Arsenal in January 2018.

He was, however, to end up at Old Trafford as United swept in to steal a proven performer away from their noisy neighbours.

That deal was considered to be quite a coup for the Red Devils, but little value has been found in it.

Sanchez has contributed just five goals to the cause through 45 appearances and is currently taking in a loan spell at Inter after being deemed surplus to requirements in Manchester.

He could be offered a clean slate at the end of the season, with a permanent switch to Italy considered unlikely, but there is still plenty for the 31-year-old to prove.

Ince believes the South American will be cursing his decision to take on a new challenge with United, as life at reigning Premier League champions City could have run much smoother.

The former Red Devils midfielder told Paddy Power: “Going to United was a mistake.

“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.

“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 and 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.

“A move last summer was always on the cards, and I thought Inter would’ve been a good place for him to go – but, again, he doesn’t fit. Where does he play in the 3-5-2 that Antonio Conte plays? You’ve got Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez up front, there’s no room for Sanchez.

“Football is a funny old game, though. Sanchez could definitely go back to United, look fantastic in training, and bang suddenly he’s important to their plans after all. I wouldn’t rule out him being a key part of their team next season.”