Alexis Sanchez’s eye-opening first impressions of Man Utd in 2018

Manchester United feel uncomfortable in their own skin right now.

With leaks and reports spilling out of Old Trafford at an alarming rate of knots, there’s a growing pile of evidence that the atmosphere in the United dressing room under Ralf Rangnick isn’t a healthy one.

However, regardless of whether or not the situation is as bad as some murmurings are making it out to be, the simple fact of the matter is that the Red Devils have been tripping over their own legs since 2013.

Worrying atmosphere at Man Utd

Waving goodbye to arguably the greatest manager in history was always going to be the mother of all gearshifts, but there’s barely felt like a moment where the squad has been consistently happy since.

The reigns of David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer all had dark clouds hanging over them at one point or another with the Rangnick era hitherto seeming no different all.

And one of the most telling pieces of evidence that United’s troubles have been rotting away for years comes courtesy of a remarkable account from one of the club’s worst ever signings: Alexis Sanchez.

Sanchez’s struggles at Man Utd

Procured in January 2018, Sanchez was one of the Premier League‘s best players for Arsenal at the time, but quickly saw his career unravel at Old Trafford with just five goals in 45 appearances.

Given Sanchez’s unquestionable talent, it was always curious that he flopped so dramatically for United, but the man himself later gave insight into the whole situation that still feels pertinent to this day.

During a remarkable Instagram video in September 2020, the Chilean stunned football fans by admitting that he asked his agent if it was possible to rip up his contract at United after just one training session.

Soccer Football – Champions League – Manchester United Training – Aon Training Complex, Manchester, Britain – November 6, 2018 Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez during training Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

Sanchez’s first impressions of Man Utd

According to Sky Sports, Sanchez astonishingly explained: “I accepted the opportunity to go to United, it felt tempting and it was something good for me, I liked this club a lot when I was a kid.

“Eventually I signed but I didn’t ask for information on what was happening inside the club. Sometimes there are things that you don’t realise until you get there, and I remember the first training session I had, I realised a lot of things.

“After the session I got home and I told my family and my agent ‘can you not rip up the contract to go back to Arsenal?’. They laughed, I told them there’s something that doesn’t sit right, it doesn’t seem good.

“But I already signed, I was already there. After the first few months I carried on having the same feeling, we weren’t united as a team in that moment.”

“We weren’t really a family”

The former Barcelona star then added: “I’m telling you my experience, the journalists at times would speak without knowing the facts and it hurt, they had no idea what was going on inside the club.

“They said it was my fault, and this, and that, but sometimes a player depends on the environment, the family that is created around him, and I think that in that moment we weren’t really a family.

“And that translated onto the pitch, and since there needed to be someone to blame, they blamed me.”

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Soccer Football – Premier League – Huddersfield Town v Manchester United – John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield, Britain – May 5, 2019 Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez REUTERS/Peter Powell EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

So, sure, there has no doubt been plenty of change at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ since Sanchez first walked out at Carrington, but the fact that he picked up such a negative vibe so quickly continues to prove telling.

Only the players and staff themselves can possibly know what’s been going wrong in the dressing room over the last few years, but it couldn’t be any clearer that United aren’t as united as their name would suggest.

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