Chile boss Reinaldo Rueda has noted that he isn’t surprised that Alexis Sanchez is struggling with the transition from Arsenal to Manchester United.
The 29-year-old was dropped from the starting XI against Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend having only managed one goal in his opening ten games.
Sanchez admitted in an interview on Wednesday that he expected better from himself and revealed he even considered pulling out of the Chile squad for the March internationals to put in some extra work at Carrington.
And Rueda, when asked about his star man, emphasised that moving from Arsenal to Man United was never going to be easy.
“It’s a difficult transition to go from Arsenal to Manchester United,” he said.
“He is sad because he wants to show his level. Fortunately he arrived with a great disposition. He knows that his teammates love him and respect him.
“In February he asked me to stay at his club, to adapt, but his passion for the team made him come here. We hope we can help him.”
Sanchez’s comments on Wednesday were indicative of a man gloomily surprised with how below par he has been. Just like we all are, really. The consensus stated that the 29-year-old was too good and too familiar with the Premier League to need any time to acclimatise.
But perhaps there was a part of him that knew he would need to struggle, to wrangle rather than glide his way to preeminence at Old Trafford. “Many things have happened in my life that are difficult,” he noted, referring to more than just football.
That sense of graft is integral to Sanchez’s personality, and following such a prolonged period of dragging Arsenal along he has brought the same desperate fight to United. And with time, through sheer force of will, the Chilean’s spirit will eventually prevail. It always has done.