Welcome to our Alexis Sanchez 2020/21 report card. As part of our post-season coverage, we’ll be dishing out grades and analyzing every Inter player’s season.
After missing his contributions during his debut season, Inter made the Chilean’s loan permanent in the hope that he could add some vital attacking depth. He repaid the club’s faith and was a regular contributor during the season even though he mostly entered from the bench.
Games Played: 30
Goals/Assists: 7 goals/8 assists
What went right this season?
The biggest thing for Alexis Sanchez this year was getting his mind and body in top shape. Mentally, he knew that he was never going to be a starter with Lukaku and Lautaro performing so well and he embraced the super-sub role. He made a difference every time he entered the pitch. 15 goal involvements in 30 appearances is impressive, but there were a number of occasions (particularly early on) where he was heavily involved in the build-up and ‘pre-assist’ passes.
After his debut season was interrupted by injury, Sanchez obviously worked hard to get himself ready to contribute this time around. Even Antonio Conte remarked (at the beginning of 2021) that the player was in the best shape since he joined the club. With a high-energy playing style, this is key to Alexis being able to give his best and no doubt contributed to his successful season.
The 2-0 win against Parma, for sure. Alexis got a rare start and Inter went into the match knowing they could further extend their lead at the top of Serie A after Milan dropped points earlier in the round. Parma had stifled Inter earlier in the season and were fighting to avoid relegation, but Inter earned three precious points thanks to a double from the Chilean striker. It was a demonstration of squad depth and proved just how far Inter had come in recent years. It wasn’t that long ago when we only had Icardi and Eder to play as a striker, now we were bringing on the legendary Alexis Sanchez to score a double on the way to a two-game lead at the top of Serie A.
What does he need to improve on?
It is really hard to criticise anything from Alexis this season but there were occasions where he seemed to be trying too hard. Perhaps he’s dropping too deep to receive the ball, or looking for a killer ball when it’s not there. That said, he was often brought on when the side was chasing a goal and he, no doubt, was trying to make a positive impression.
What role will he play in 2021/22?
It is hard to see him remaining and the club given their financial situation. He arrived on a free transfer but is one of the top-3 earners in the side. It simply isn’t sustainable for the club to continue to pay this much for a substitute. I wouldn’t be surprised if Inter simply releases him for free just to get the wages off his books. For sure, whoever takes his place has massive shoes to fill.
Grade: A (8)