The Premier League kicked off matchday 36 on Friday night as Manchester United lost 1-0 to Brighton. The Red Devils’ loss once again raised questions over Jose Mourinho’s team and whether he has been able to assemble the best players possible. Alexis Sanchez did not make the Manchester United team for the match. In the wake of the club’s loss, reports of Sanchez having a negative impact on his teammates have emerged.
Are Manchester United stars Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba worth their salaries?
Mourinho stated Sanchez was suffering from an unspecified injury and that is why he missed the fixture with Brighton. The manager had a similar tactic with Paul Pogba earlier this season. At the time, Mourinho told the press Pogba was out due to an illness.
Now with Manchester United fighting to hold off Liverpool for second place in the Premier League, there is the belief that the Red Devils have overpaid for both Sanchez and Pogba as neither are producing at a high level.
Since arriving at Manchester United in January, Sanchez has recorded just two Premier League goals. While he has been short on goals, Sanchez has tallied three assists. But it is his impact on teammates that has been most notable.
The Red Devils’ poor play with Sanchez and Pogba on the pitch together has led many to believed the team is better when one of the duo sits out. Friday night’s result against Brighton doesn’t necessarily reflect that claim. However, Manchester United’s leading scorer Romelu Lukaku missed the match entirely. His presence would have changed the way Manchester United played.
Former Manchester United player and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville weighed in on the continued poor play of both Sanchez and Pogba following the Brighton game. Neville believes Sanchez has hurt Manchester United youngsters Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard.
“I think one of the big things is, you look at Jose Mourinho, he’s not going to stand still,” Neville said.
“He brought Alexis Sanchez into the club and look at what’s happened to them since Alexis Sanchez came in.
“If you look at the actual stats and you think about before Sanchez arrived at the club, they were playing quite a bit of football, they were scoring goals and contributing, they had assists.
“But since Alexis Sanchez has come to the club, obviously he’s played a lot of the games, and that’s what’s happened.
“There’s been a big impact negatively, so they’ve got to get back to the standards they were setting earlier in the season and what they’re capable of.
“There’s a lot to do to become what we call real top-class Manchester United players.
“But there’s certainly the potential to be that.”
Sanchez and Pogba are not only Manchester United’s highest paid players, but the Premier League’s top earners.