ALEXIS Sanchez confessed on Wednesday to having had a “rough” start at Manchester United where he’s scored only once in 10 matches since his lucrative move from Arsenal in January.
The diminutive Chilean forward has been in the eye of the storm with a string of below-par performances as United struggled in the Premier League and limped out of the Champions League at the hands of Sevilla this month.
“It was a bit rough for me because it’s the first time I’ve changed a team in January,” Sanchez told reporters in Stockholm where Chile are preparing to face Sweden on Saturday.
He said he had “expected something better” from himself during his first months under Jose Mourhino.
“It’s been very difficult, we were out of the World Cup, I arrived at my club which was at the time Arsenal, I got injured,” reflected the 29-year-old, who at the start of the season was close to joining Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
“At one stage the transfer broke down, I didn’t go to the other team and at the end I’m in at a team that is United, one of the biggest in the world.”
He admitted he even considered skipping this Chile camp.
“As I am self-demanding, I expected something better.
“After my arrival at United, it was hard to change everything very quickly. I even hesitated to come here [to Sweden, with the national team].
“I had asked permission to miss these games, but then I thought better and spoke with Claudio [Bravo] and told him that we should all be united.
“The change of club was something that was very abrupt – it was the first time I’ve changed clubs in January – but many things have happened in my life that are difficult.”
There have been rumblings that Sanchez has cut an isolated figure at the club since arriving. When asked about Swedish local hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he revealed: “I trained for a month and a half with Zlatan and his quality is impressive.
“We talk and we have a coffee together every day.”
Away from United, Sanchez hopes to get back to winning ways with Chile in what will be Colombian coach Reinaldo Rueda’s first game in charge.
The team has been hit by internal squabbling in the wake of their elimination from the World Cup, and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo’s refusal to go on the European tour.
Sanchez said the team was “a family” and that Bravo was “keeping the door open” to a return to the national team.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have been keen to bring in a right-back having sold the Irish international to Tottenham.
And after selling Diogo Jota to Liverpool for £45million ($80 million AUD), the club have the funds to spend big.
SunSport reported on Saturday how the Blaugrana are looking to bring in Ajax ace Sergino Dest with Semedo on his way out of the Nou Camp for around £40m ($71 million AUD).
Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has claimed that it is Wolves that are in pole position to secure the 26-year-old’s services.
He also revealed how Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal will be joining Semedo out the door in Catalonia.
Romano tweeted: “Wolves are ‘one step away’ from signing Nelson Semedo.
“New bid submitted yesterday and Barcelona are now ready to accept.
“Work in progress also on personal terms to be agreed.
“On next hours Barca are gonna sell Semedo to #Wolves and Vidal to #Inter. Here we go soon!”
Wolves are ‘one step away’ from signing Nelson Semedo. New bid submitted yesterday and Barcelona are now ready to accept. Work in progress also on personal terms to be agreed. On next hours Barça are gonna sell Semedo to #Wolves and Vidal to #Inter. Here we go soon! 🐺 #FCB
Liverpool showed Chelsea still have far to go to challenge the champions for the Premier League title as Sadio Mane took advantage of a first-half red card shown to Andreas Christensen to score both goals in a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
Mane provoked the Dane’s dismissal and then headed the Reds into the lead before pouncing on another terrible error from the Blues’ goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Idiotic Kepa gifts Mane
Commentator Andy Townsend had nothing to offer but “bloody hell” when he reflected on the $127 million flop’s all-time howler.
At the other end, Alisson Becker also proved the value of a good goalkeeper as he saved Jorginho’s penalty 15 minutes from time to deny the Blues a lifeline.
Victory takes Liverpool level on points with Everton, Arsenal and Crystal Palace at the top of the table as the only sides with maximum points from their opening two games.
Liverpool signed Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota on Friday and Saturday – but Sunday’s clash with Chelsea showed Jurgen Klopp still might need to make one more signing even though the Reds were victorious in west London.