Jose Mourinho is confident Manchester United supporters will see the best of Alexis Sanchez next season.
The Chilean arrived from Arsenal in the January transfer window and has so far failed to impress supporters, managing just three goals in total and often disappearing in games.
But he has, perhaps crucially, been afforded a proper holiday break for the first time since 2013 this summer, giving him a chance to fully refresh himself.
And Mourinho, speaking to ESPN, noted he felt good about the 29-year-old’s prospects ahead of the 2018/19 season.
“It is not easy to come in the middle of the season,” he said.
“I’m not a big fan of the winter market because the players are coming in the middle of the season and it is not easy for them to adapt.
“So I think after a few months with us, now to start the season I think it is a perfect moment for him to establish himself as an important player for us.”
It would be impossible to notice, perhaps even for Sanchez himself, but nobody could deny that the forward was not 100 per cent last season.
Covering plenty of ground and looking lively on the ball are not, in the case of Sanchez, indicators of all being well. That is his second nature. Fatigue effects things for Sanchez in a more subtle way: decision making, weight of pass, rhythm moving through the final third, alertness in the box, a kind of explosiveness.
None of that felt right last season. Supporters, just like Mourinho, will expect to see a different Sanchez this time around.