Rio Ferdinand's take on Sanchez was even worse than criticism 9 months ago

Rio Ferdinand's take on Sanchez was even worse than criticism

He pities him.

Rio Ferdinand feels sorry for a man who's earning £600,000 each week.

Alexis Sanchez was supposed to change everything for United. It all looked so perfect, for player and club, when the Chilean international played the piano and gazed around the Theatre of Dreams in his pristine kit like a boy in dreamland on his arrival.

Fast forward two months and quite a lot has changed. Contrary to Sanchez's expectations, that he was about to take that step forward in his career, that he was going to be a leader on a team full of leaders, it has actually become worse for him.

For years he led with Arsenal and despite his best efforts, he often struggled to drag a bunch of mediocre players forward with him. With United, he's not even leading. He appears devoid of confidence, his touch, normally so refined and reliable is now, rusty and he's not throwing himself around the place like he always does.

He's come to the right club but he's come at the wrong time. United are in disarray at the moment. They're disjointed, in defence and in attack.

They were knocked out of the Champions League by a mediocre Sevilla team on Wednesday night and they never even rose a gallop in front of their home crowd.

Alexis Sanchez is a victim of the club. He's a great player and we all know that but he's being limited by a restrictive system that doesn't encourage players to gain possession and when an attacker becomes a stranger to the ball, their performances can only go one way.

Their defending, led by the hapless Eric Bailly was abject and their attackers never created anything of substance or of meaning.

Rio Ferdinand, speaking on BT Sport after this embarrassing defeat summed it up best. He knows Sanchez is struggling, but he pities him. He pities him for the situation he finds himself in.

"Sanchez, for one, he just looks a shadow of the player he was. When he was at Arsenal, he was the player everyone looked to for inspiration. He just looks like a stranger now.

"When you go to a new team and play, you don't lose all your talent. That's what it just seems like at the moment and in some ways I just feel sorry for him. It's not going for him and it's not going for other players as well. That's the way it's going for them all, the whole lot of them, they were shocking," said the former United centre half.

Graeme Souness, speaking on TV3 in Ireland, feels the same way about Paul Pogba.

"Pogba, I actually feel sorry for the boy. His confidence must be shot. And then you see Sanchez, he's not got going at all."

Imagine that, Souness, feeling sorry for Paul Pogba. That tells it all.