Alexis Sanchez has had a 'traumatic, very tortuous' year

Despite his difficulties at Manchester United and Inter, Chile boss Reinaldo Rueda is confident Alexis Sanchez will rediscover his best form.

Alexis Sanchez in action for Inter   -  Getty Images

Alexis Sanchez has experienced a "traumatic, very tortuous year", according to Chile boss Reinaldo Rueda.

Manchester United sent Sanchez on loan to Inter for the 2019-20 season but he made just nine appearances for the club before the coronavirus pandemic brought the campaign to a halt.

After suffering an injury while representing Chile at last year's Copa America he had to undergo surgery in October due to an ankle problem sustained in a friendly against Colombia.

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Rueda believes Sanchez's difficulties can be traced back to his move to United in January 2018 in a swap deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan join Arsenal.

The 31-year-old scored just three goals in 32 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils but Rueda is confident he can rediscover his best form.

"It has been a traumatic, very tortuous year for him. Ever since his departure from Arsenal and his first year at Manchester United," the Chile boss told SPORT.

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"He came to the Copa America in Brazil and then had that bad luck with the injury in the friendly against Colombia in Alicante. That loan to Inter was almost thwarted and when he recovered the pandemic came.

"I expect all this to pass quickly because he's a great professional, has a great attitude in training and will maintain a high standing for any club that gives him a chance.

"He's got a lot of football yet to show at the top level."

Asked why Sanchez was unable to cement his place at Barcelona, where he played between 2011 and 2014, Rueda was unsure.

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He said: "There are many factors combine so that extraordinary players do not succeed in one place. After being the main man and playing important roles in other places, reaching Barcelona and only having a more secondary role takes its toll.

"It has happened to many players there. Few have managed to adapt quickly to their new role, perhaps Neymar or Arturo Vidal managed. They have demonstrated that intelligence.

"It is not easy to determine why Alexis was not a success in Barcelona."

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