Alexis Sanchez still has an opportunity to become an “important” player for Manchester United, according to Paul Ince.
Sanchez will have two years remaining on his £300,000-a-week contract when he returns to Old Trafford from the season-long loan at Inter Milan, but it is expected that the club will do their best to offload him.
The Chilean netted just five times in 45 games for Man Utd, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claimed in January that Sanchez can prove his critics wrong if he is given a second chance next season.
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And Ince thinks there’s a possibility that Sanchez could “look fantastic in training” on his return to United and force his way into Solskjaer’s plans.
Ince told Paddy Power: “I wouldn’t rule out Sanchez going back to United and being a key part of their team next season. Football is a funny old game.
“I’ve been in the situation as a manager where I’ve thought ‘right, I’m going to get rid of him and him’ but when it comes to it you can’t get the deal done, so they stay at the club.
“Then pre-season comes around and they’re a totally different player to the season before, and they’re your key man the next season. So Sanchez could definitely go back to United, look fantastic in training, and bang suddenly he’s important to their plans after all.”
Ince added: “This is a make or break summer for Alexis. He’s had two moves in a row that have really not gone well. He’s had two seasons of just not playing. Your career goes by so fast, you can’t waste it like that.
“If someone can get him in and play him in the right position, you’ve still got a great player in there. If that’s West Ham, who can build their team around him, then it’s a great piece of business.
“Wherever he goes, he has to be playing week-in, week-out. Not just to justify his wage, but for his own career.
“And I am certain that he is desperate to play. I’ve watched him a lot, and it was never for a lack of trying that things didn’t work.
“Some players are happy to count their money, but that’s not Sanchez – he plays with determination and passion, he clearly loves playing football.
“I know there’s talk about him being a bit of a loner, but that’s fine – some people are like that – it’s about what happens on the pitch, and you can see he’s always trying the right things when he plays.”
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