Alexis Sanchez “has been disappointing” for Manchester United, admits Gary Neville, with the Chilean yet to make the expected impact.
Jose Mourinho has conceded that a January arrival from Arsenal has struggled to produce his best for the Red Devils, with it possible that his true colours may not be seen until “next season”.
United could really do with him delivering before then, with there top-four places and a Champions League crown to challenge for this term.
Neville believes it is on Sanchez and Mourinho to find a solution which allows both to prosper, with a crunch clash against arch-rivals Liverpool providing the perfect opportunity to get things right.
The former United defender told Sky Sports: “Yes, he has been disappointing since he arrived, but the thing for me with Alexis Sanchez is that he's got to play more advanced.
“Liverpool will want to see him in deeper areas rather than getting in behind Trent Alexander-Arnold.
“The young lad did really well at Old Trafford but playing against Anthony Martial or Sanchez he will find the game more difficult if they are making runs in behind.
“I would if I was playing and so would any other defender, so he has to be tested, as will Andrew Robertson.
“He has to receive balls in advanced areas and I'd like to see him close to Romelu Lukaku and even making runs in behind him.”
Sanchez has managed just one goal in eight appearances for United so far and no assists.
He has faced accusations of destabilising the Red Devils, with positional problems similar to Paul Pogba being endured.
Mourinho is yet to find the best tactical system to incorporate the 29-year-old, with others – such as Marcus Rashford – being shunted out of the side to make way for a high-profile addition.
A meeting with Liverpool presents a timely occasion for Sanchez to start proving his worth, as United head into a heavyweight fixture perched just two points clear of their old adversaries in the Premier League table.