Paul Merson makes prediction about Alexis Sanchez at Man United

Paul Merson is tipping Alexis Sanchez to return to Man United and play a part in the club's future

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez (Photo: Screengrab)

Paul Merson is tipping Alexis Sanchez to return to Manchester United and stay as a Red Devils player at the end of his loan spell with Inter Milan.

The Chile international was deemed to be surplus to requirements at Old Trafford by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last summer as he was sent out on loan to the Serie A side for the current campaign.

Sanchez, 31, has struggled with a string of injury problems this term and has only started two league games for the Italian side, scoring one goal and making one assist in nine Serie A appearances in total.

With the fate of the current season on hold amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there is a lot of doubt about whether the campaign will be able to be completed or if it will be scrapped altogether.

Former Arsenal star Merson believes that the current financial situation across Europe will mean that Sanchez will likely return to Old Trafford and stay there at the end of this season.

Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Merson said: “With what’s currently going on, I can’t see a team going out and spending £100m on a player anymore.

“Teams are going to have to stick with what they’ve got so Manchester United keeping hold of Alexis Sanchez and bringing him back into the fold would come as no surprise.

“The other options would be to go and find a replacement and they would have to spend £60m or £70m to do it. I just don’t think clubs are going to do that anymore, and actually, I don’t think people care.

“The clubs can’t ask the government to pay the wages of their staff and then once this has passed, and hopefully it will, go and spend £60m, £70m and even £80m on players. That’s taking the mick at the highest level!

“For that reason, I can understand Sanchez coming back to play a part at Old Trafford because, on his day, he is a great player.

“After this, people are going to appreciate things a lot more now – and that includes some of the footballers who get bundles of money and think they can just stroll through.

“Sanchez was one of those players, but I think he will probably now think this life goes very quickly, especially a football career.

“Players might start to appreciate that more and he could come back, work hard and be a success because you can’t go from being that good at Arsenal to be that bad at Manchester United, you just can’t.

“It’s definitely a better United than the one he left too. They were flying before the suspension of the league. They’ve had some excellent performances and some brilliant results so that will benefit him too.

“He’s got to come back and appreciate he’s at one of the biggest clubs in the world, if not the biggest.

“There is logic in Sanchez going back at Old Trafford, he’s a top player and if they can get even half the player he was at Barcelona and Arsenal back, he’ll be an asset.”

Manchester United are currently in fifth place in the Premier League table as they chase a top-four finish in Solskjaer’s first full campaign in charge.

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