Alexis Sanchez will face around six weeks on the sidelines after he damaged his hamstring in Manchester United training and Jose Mourinho has been bemoaning the players’ bad luck since he signed in January.
When Alexis left Arsenal for Manchester United, I wrote about how it was a gamble for them. They were paying him the guts of £500kpw despite the fact he was in a slump, approaching 30 and had played non-stop football for most of his life.
He seemed an injury waiting to happen and this is his biggest by a distance. Throughout his career, Alexis has never spent more than 12 days on the sidelines (torn muscle while with Barcelona in 2011). He missed 13 days in total while at Arsenal (abdominal strain (3 days), hamstring (10 days)).
That his injury has come at a time when he is, perhaps, playing less football than at any other point in his recent career could be notable. Alexis has put his body through a lot and perhaps it needed to be kept at those high-intensity levels. I have, of course, nothing but my gut to back me up on this and no doubt I would have said his hamstring snapped because he’d been overplayed had that been the case. But it seems something.
Regardless, with just four goals and seven assists to his name since he joined United, Mourinho believes that Alexis has been suffering from bad luck.
“I don’t like and don’t believe in the word curse,” Mourinho said at his pre-Southampton press conference before going on to imply that’s exactly what’s happened to the Chilean. “But it was a very unlucky six months for him.”
Luck, of course, is all relevant. How unlucky is it really to land a deal worth £500kpw for four years?
Alexis turns 30 on 19 December. I can’t imagine how that would make things better for a man whose career has relied on explosive bursts of pace. Good job for him he has another three-and-a-half-years left on his contract.