3 ways in which Manchester United can get the best out of their £14million-a-year January signing

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Alexis Sanchez

Three ways Manchester United can line up with Alexis Sanchez

Manchester United pulled off quite an unbelievable coup in the January window by securing a deal for Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal. Although the Chilean star was a Manchester City target for a good majority of the summer window, rumours started linking the Red Devils with Sanchez right before the winter window commenced. Even then, it seemed like a rather far-fetched deal since City seemed quite determined to land the attacker.

However, Jose Mourinho beat Pep Guardiola to bagging the signature of Sanchez in what was a straight swap deal with Arsenal. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was the other player who switched teams. The Armenian failed to get things going at Old Trafford and the move is definitely ideal for him.

Throughout the season, United have lacked attacking intent and with Sanchez in the mix, one can only hope for things to be different, with the remaining half of the season ahead of us. United are still 2nd in the table but in order to finish in the same spot, they need to finish on a strong note. With that in mind, here are 3 ways the Red Devils can line up with £14million-a-year Sanchez in the team.

4-2-3-1 with Sanchez in a wide role

This seems like the most obvious out of all formations. With Romelu Lukaku leading the line, Alexis Sanchez and either Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford can occupy the wide roles while Mourinho alternates between using Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata as an attacking midfielder. The rest of the team would be pretty much the same with Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic occupying deeper roles.

Although this is Mourinho’s preferred formation, he might be looking for a change after the terrible way Pogba performed in the deeper role against Tottenham. That brings us to our next option.

4-3-3 with Pogba in a central midfield trio and Sanchez on the left-wing

With Sanchez on the left, either Jesse Lingard or Juan Mata could occupy the same role on the right-hand side. Meanwhile, Pogba would be able to receive better freedom to surge forward if he played in a central midfield trio with probably Matic and Marouane Fellaini. That would boost the attacking force for sure but if needed, Mourinho could also use Ander Herrera to push for a more cautious approach. However, this would see Martial and Rashford find their opportunities extremely limited.

3-5-2 with Sanchez partnering Lukaku up front

This might be the most unorthodox and unexpected formation out of the three but it could work on very specific occasions. Mourinho has used a three-man back line quite frequently during his tenure at Old Trafford and with Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia putting in exemplary displays as wing-backs, there is no reason for him to not consider this. Also, Lukaku’s goals seem to have dried up and if he were to have a presence like Sanchez supporting him, that could remarkably improve his displays.

Meghna Sengupta

Editor @ Soccersouls. Lives in Chennai, and a Manchester United fan. Follow me on Linkedin

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