By Anthony Privetera.
After another decent cameo off the bench in a 2-1 victory against Sampdoria, Inter will no doubt be narrowing in on their decision regarding Alexis Sanchez.
Still owned by and expected back at Manchester United in only two weeks, Sanchez has had a turbulent and unpredictable campaign in Italy. Ravaged by a tendon injury, the former Udinese, Barcelona and Arsenal star was forced to miss ten league matches during a Serie A season interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite the physical disruptions, Sanchez has shown glimpses of his natural, sensational ability for the Nerazzurri. A goal against Sampdoria in the return fixture in Genoa was followed up by winning a penalty against Udinese.
However, the 31-year-old’s crowning moment was an assist in the Derby Della Madonnina for Matias Vecino to make it 2-2, and Inter went on to win comfortably.
Fans will no doubt want to see more of the two-time Copa America winner in the black and blue. With plenty of football to come in the not too distant future, Inter may want to make sure they have the depth ready to go the distance until the end of the campaign.
“Alexis has been unlucky this season because of that injury, but the quality he has is not up for discussion,” commented former Inter striker Samuel Eto’o earlier this month.
“He is a player who can make a difference at all times. He is a different attacker, with his movement, and he is lethal one-on-one.
“It’s normal that it takes time for him to get back to his best. He arrived at Inter following a period without playing much at United.
“He has different skills, someone like him is always comfortable at a club like Inter.”
Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez have proven to be the ultimate duo but will need rest. And despite 17-year-old Sebastiano Esposito showing amazing potential, he won’t and shouldn’t be relied on as Inter’s back up hitman.
It is no secret that the main issue here is the Chilean’s astronomical wages. North of €300k per week at the Premier League club, Inter sporting director Beppe Marotta managed to negotiate a deal which meant Inter currently pay just 30% of that figure. To retain Sanchez’s services, ‘Don Beppe’, as Marotta is known, may need to up that offer a little more.
Alexis seems to have found a place at Inter, and head coach Antonio Conte seems to be utilizing him when available. It doesn’t seem like a brainbuster, but stranger things have happened.