Alexis Sanchez Suffers Potentially Serious Knee Injury vs. Southampton

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 29, 2018

Manchester United's Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez (R) receives medical attention after picking up an injury during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on March 2, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Manchester United attacker Alexis Sanchez could be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after he was substituted with a potentially serious knee injury during Manchester United's 3-2 win over Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.

Sanchez left the Old Trafford pitch seven minutes after half-time, with Diogo Dalot coming off the bench to replace the Chilean:

Manchester United @ManUtd

Almost an instant impact from Dalot as, moments after replacing Alexis, he sends over a fine cross which Rashford heads wide. #MUFC #MUNSOU

ESPN FC's Rob Dawson provided more details about injury's potential nature:

Rob Dawson @RobDawsonESPN

Sanchez looked like he twisted his knee after a challenge from Bednarek. Signalled to the bench that he has to come off. Dalot coming on in his place.

Subsequent information from injury analyst Ben Dinnery suggested the problem could be serious:

Ben Dinnery @BenDinnery

Sanchez will be assessed over the next 24-48 hrs. Concerns that he may have suffered knee ligament damage. Needless to say, he won't feature in the Champions League vs PSG on Wednesday. #MUFC https://t.co/KneXm8cf8t

It means United will be further depleted ahead of the second leg of their last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League. The Red Devils travel to the Parc des Princes on Wednesday, trailing 2-0 on aggregate and with injury doubts about a host of key stars, including Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata.

United were trailing 1-0 when Sanchez went off courtesy of Yan Valery's wonder strike. However, Dalot created an equaliser for Andreas Perreira before Romelu Lukaku gave the Red Devils their first lead of the day.

James Ward-Prowse hit back for the Saints before Lukaku's second goal won it in the 88th minute.

Fitness issues have plagued Sanchez this season:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Alexis Sánchez has played the full 90 minutes for Man Utd across all competitions just once in 2018/19. It was the first game of the season vs. Leicester. 🤕 https://t.co/PiKjQREQ90

Those problems are part of ongoing problems for the versatile forward, who has struggled mightily since leaving Arsenal for the red half of Manchester in January 2018.

The 30-year-old has chipped in with just two goals and four assists across all competitions during this campaign. It's beyond a meagre return for United's highest earner.

Coral @Coral

Yan Valery has scored the same amount of goals at Old Trafford this season as Alexis Sanchez (1). Some way to get his first goal for Southampton. https://t.co/bfo2t6NLpR

The modest numbers speak to the massive decline in Sanchez's game since he left north London. He appears to have lost a yard of pace, while the running power he often displayed for the Gunners also seems to have diminished.

The technique is still there, with few players able to match Sanchez's eye for a pass. However, he continually fails to impose himself on matches in a United shirt.

One more injury setback won't help the cause of a player whose future already looks like it would be best served by moving on from Old Trafford.