Alexis Sanchez Left Out of Manchester United Squad for West Ham Match

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2018

Manchester United's Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez chases the ball during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 22, 2018. (Photo by Lindsey PARNABY / 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 LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)
LINDSEY PARNABY/Getty Images

Alexis Sanchez was left out of the Manchester United squad for their 3-1 defeat to West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday.

The club confirmed the XI and substitutes for the match at London Stadium prior to kick-off:

James Robson of the Evening Standard noted that Sanchez's absence wasn't due to any fitness issues:

The forward was brought in from Arsenal in the 2018 January transfer window, but he has struggled to reproduce his Gunners form in United red.

In five Premier League appearances for the club in 2018-19, he's yet to find the net.

However, his poor run at Old Trafford extends beyond this term, as he only netted twice in 12 outings for the club in the Premier League last season.

He's on a major drought:

For manager Jose Mourinho, it was a big call to make at a time when he is under pressure to see his team perform.

After a disappointing 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League, he watched his side get dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Derby County after a penalty shootout.

The match at London Stadium felt vital for the Portuguese coach, and the dismal manner of United's performance in the defeat will not have done anything to alleviate the pressure on Mourinho's shoulders.

Per journalist Mootaz Chehade, Sanchez's absence pointed towards a shift in setup from United for this encounter:

Jacob Steinberg of the Guardian is predicting the forward will be on the move soon:

Sanchez has proved himself to be one of the best players in the Premier League in recent years, scoring 60 goals in his three-and-a-half years at the Emirates Stadium in the top flight.

On paper, he should be an ideal player for Mourinho's side, as he presses from the front, doesn't shirk any defensive responsibilities and is typically productive in front of goal.

However, Sanchez doesn't deserve to be in the starting XI after a string of below-par displays. Not having him in the squad at all to potentially make an impression from the bench did feel like something of a statement from the United boss, though.

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