Jamie Carragher likens Alexis Sanchez to Fernando Torres, and not in a good way 10 months ago

Jamie Carragher likens Alexis Sanchez to Fernando Torres, and not in a good way

What's going on with Alexis Sanchez?

What happened to the attacking sensation who enjoyed a return of almost a goal every two games for Arsenal (80 in 166 appearances)?

Sanchez has found the net on just four occasions in his 25 games for Manchester United and has done little to justify his wages at Old Trafford.

Since his January move, the Chile international is reportedly on a weekly wage of £391,000, with an additional £75,000 for every game he plays as well as an annual £1.1 million signing-on fee.

There are stages when Sanchez looks disinterested for United but for the most part, it looks like he now just lacks the spark that once made him one of the most exciting talents in world football.

Sanchez's curious case is a very familiar one in the mind of Jamie Carragher, who has likened the 29-year-old's bizarre downturn in form to Fernando Torres' 2011 move to Chelsea.

"There is broad agreement Alexis Sanchez has not been the same player since he joined Manchester United," Carragher writes in his Telegraph column.

"Actually, this is slightly inaccurate. Sanchez has not been the same player for longer than that. The more I watch him in a Manchester United shirt, the more convinced I am his poor final year at Arsenal was not due to a declining team or loss of motivation as he prepared to leave.

"Sanchez's best years have gone. He is to Manchester United what Fernando Torres was to Chelsea."

Sanchez looks a completely different player to the force who, when representing Barcelona and Arsenal, would give defenders nightmares.

And perhaps Carragher's comparison to Torres' departure from Liverpool is right on the money.

"I witnessed this with Torres, a player who rose to world-class status but then lost his explosive pace and could never get it back," Carragher continued.

"When Chelsea bid £50m for Torres in January 2011 there was consternation among Liverpool supporters.

"Although we could never state it publicly at the time, there was general astonishment in our dressing room. We thought Chelsea had not been watching him for the previous 12 months.

"We knew Chelsea did not sign the player they thought. They bought a striker who – aged 26 - had already played 468 games, had not had a summer off for the previous three years and was constantly trying to repair his body.

"Torres started to have a hamstring problem during the 2008-09 season, and also suffered an ankle injury the year we finished runners-up to Manchester United. The following season – Rafa Benitez’s last as Liverpool manager – he had a groin and knee issue and was a shadow of himself, despite still regularly scoring goals.

"Beyond Merseyside no-one seemed to notice, attributing poor displays to a struggling team. In training we could see there was more to it."