Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez was absent from the party that flew out to the United States on Sunday, according to The Times. The Chilean forward, who joined United from Arsenal in January’s transfer window, was spotted spending time with friends in Wilmslow, Cheshire, where many of the club’s players live close to on Sunday, and as of yet, the club have not offered an explanation for why Sanchez has not travelled.
Presumably, Jose Mourinho will explain his absence when he takes charge of his first press conference of United’s pre-season tour this week. Given that the Portuguese manager is currently working with a squad that is missing a huge amount of talent due to this summer’s World Cup, Sanchez’s current omission isn’t hugely welcome, given that the popular notion surrounding the Chilean international was that his performances needed to improve in his first full season for United.
After his January move, Sanchez was close to an ever-present for Mourinho and made 18 appearances, but only offered three goals in return. He, more than most, seemed to struggle with the demands and style places on the team by their manager, and Sanchez frequently found himself running down blind alleys as the season drew to a close. An excellent headed goal and performance against Tottenham Hotspur suggested that the former Arsenal man is far from a spent-force, however, and the hope is that he will return to form this season having enjoyed a full summer off from international commitments for the first time in several years.
It’s hardly excellent news for Mourinho to be shorn of another attacking outlet for these games, given that Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford have just begun their post-World Cup holidays after England flew back from Russia on Sunday, but it does offer an opportunity for the young members of the squad to impress their manager, at least.