With Alexis Sanchez’s departure from Manchester United looking more and more likely, is it a sensible decision to offload the Chilean international without being able to sign a replacement?
We take a look at the pros and cons of selling the forward this summer, and whether United will be able to cope without him in the coming weeks and months.
1) Sanchez’s exit would dramatically reduce the wage bill. Reports suggest that Inter will be prepared to pay half of the 30-year-old’s £505,000 a week wages.
Although it still means that the Red Devils will be liable to pay just over £250,000 a week, the loan spell offers the Chilean the chance to showcase his talents and secure a permanent move away from Old Trafford.
2) Players like Mason Greenwood and Tahith Chong will be promoted up the pecking order and offered more chances to impress in the first team over the next twelve months.
The lack of a replacement for the ex-Arsenal striker means Solskjaer will call upon the youngsters to fill the void, and considering how well Greenwood performed during pre-season, you can’t really argue with the reasoning that it could help the development of the club’s younger players.
1) As Solskjaer said himself a few days ago, United are not exactly blessed with options in forward areas, especially after the departure of Romelu Lukaku. Selling Sanchez without signing a replacement would weaken the squad further.
It’s bad forward planning considering the Manchester club had the whole summer to recruit more forward players. Despite the potential of Daniel James, he can hardly be expected to replace both Sanchez and Lukaku; two seasoned internationals.
2) While financially, loaning out the forward may benefit the club somewhat, there is always a risk that Inter could simply send the player back next summer and United will be left in the same situation as before.
Reports in Italy suggest the Nerazzurri would have the option to sign him for £14m next summer; it would be a better deal if it was an obligation to buy instead.
3) The loss of an experienced player cannot be underestimated. Sanchez has played 154 Premier League games and has 130 caps for Chile. The 30-year-old may have not performed anywhere close to his potential since arriving at the club, but the player has proven to be a consistent performer both at club and international level.
Could United regret cutting their losses too early? It does seem doubtful, but from my point of view, there do seem to be more negatives than positives to a loan move abroad for Sanchez.