JOSE MOURINHO has revealed that Manchester United winger Alexis Sanchez will use the two-week international break to get himself back to full fitness.
United have suffered back-to-back defeats to condemn them to their worst start to a Premier League season since the division’s inaugural 1992-93 campaign.
Jose Mourinho’s men were thrashed 3-0 by Tottenham at Old Trafford on Monday following a reverse to Brighton the previous weekend.
The Chilean winger was absent for that loss due to injury, described by Mourinho as a “little problem”, and only played the last 35 minutes of the defeat to Spurs.
Sanchez has been left out of Chile’s squad for the international break with La Roja facing Japan and South Korea in Asia.
Despite his status for the national team as their all-time top goalscorer and most-capped player, Chile coach Reinaldo Rueda revealed: “It’s a recommendation from Manchester United’s medical staff.
“He is recovering but all that this trip means the suggestion was that he should not participate in these friendlies. Respecting that and what Alexis feels we did not take into account for this call-up.”
Instead, Sanchez will stay in England and look to get back up to speed with the rest of United’s first-team squad who have not been called up to represent their countries around the world.
And Mourinho hopes that time to get back to his best can help the 29-year-old to discover his best form having largely disappointed since a January switch from Arsenal, managing just three goals in 20 appearances.
“He’s committed, he’s focused, he works hard. I believe that he will improve. “Jose Mourinho on Alexis Sanchez
“He’s not going to the national team for these two friendlies in Japan and South Korea, which is good news for us because after that we play Watford and then immediately play [a] Champions League [match vs Young Boys],” Mourinho said on Sanchez.
“He’s committed, he’s focused, he works hard. I believe that he will improve.
“I didn’t ask [Sanchez not to play for Chile], I never ask players not to go [on international duty] and I never contact national teams for players not to go.
“It’s a personal thing between him and the national manager.
Alexis Sanchez has just three goals in 20 games to his name at United
“At the same time, coming [back] from injury, he feels that for him it’s a much-needed two weeks in spite of his conditions to play against Burnley.
“He feels that, after that [match vs Burnley], he needs two weeks to put himself in good shape and, because of the friendly matches in Asia, they made the decision for his good and, in consequence our good, for him not to go.”
Sanchez has four goals in five league matches against Burnley is expected to start at Turf Moor today (4pm) with Mourinho enjoying a strong squad to pick from – minus absentees Phil Jones, Diogo Dalot and Sergio Romero.
United will hope to get back to winning ways to ease some of the increasing pressure on Mourinho with the club not having lost three straight league matches since December 2015. They have never lost four straight Premier League games.