Juan Mata beats Alexis Sanchez during sprints in Manchester United training

Juan Mata beats Alexis Sanchez during sprints in Manchester United training

Juan Mata beats Alexis Sanchez during sprints in Manchester United training

The decline of Alexis Sanchez since his move to Manchester United in January of this year has been well documented, with the Chilean looking a shadow of his former self in his Arsenal days.

Sanchez has scored just four goals in 30 appearances for United in all competitions in 2018 and is currently out with a hamstring injury, which could see him out of action until the new year.

It won’t be much of a celebratory one-year anniversary for the player, who has played far from his best football at Old Trafford.

A report from the Independent may go some way to explaining why there has been such a dramatic fall-off from the player. One of the main criticisms of the player has been a lack of sharpness and dynamism that was present during his Arsenal days, with the report certainly endorsing that claim.

Juan Mata is said to have beaten Sanchez during recent sprints in training, which is hardly a good look for the 29-year-old given that Mata is hardly recognised for his ability to outsprint his opponents, relying more on craft and guile.

The Independent report also claims that Arsenal were happy to let him leave due to what they perceived to be as a physical decline in the player, who has already played over 700 professional career games for club and country.

That wear and tear, it seems, is finally taking its toll on his body.

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