Alexis Sanchez has spoken of how leaving Manchester United to join Inter Milan on loan has helped him rediscover a love for football.
The Chilean departed Old Trafford early last month following a miserable 2018-19 season during which he scored just one Premier League, seemingly always either injured or painfully out of form.
On his first start for Inter, Sanchez arguably provided more excitement in 46 minutes than in 18 months at United, scoring a brace (the first wildly deflecting off him) before being sent off for diving.
Speaking earlier this week, the 30-year-old remarked that coming to Italy had helped him fall back in love with football.
“I already knew the coach and some of the players, and I believe that the club are preparing something beautiful for the future,” he said.
“If I’m not mistaken, Inter haven’t won anything for seven or eight years. It was a bit like finding my love for football again, together with my desire to win something with this club.”
Anybody’s work life and personal journey is complex, full of many variables, but there are times during that voyage when something just does not feel right, and other times when it just seems to click for you.
For Sanchez, that time in Manchester – marooned in a mansion in Cheshire with his dogs, miles away from meaningful human contact, then on the bench at Old Trafford, miles away from a good performance – signalled a time when things just did not feel right at all.
Moving back to United next summer would not just be a bad career choice; it would be inimical to his very wellbeing as an individual.