Manchester United ace Alexis Sanchez had a great attitude in Serie A and Udinese team-mate Di Natale once said he’d have him over Neymar

19 Aug

Alessandro Del Piero, Luca Toni and Filippo Inzaghi are just three team-mates Antonio Di Natale has partnered on the pitch.

And Alexis Sanchez is better than them all.

Di Natale, right, scored 210 Serie A goals says Sanchez is the ‘best partner I ever had’
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That’s according to one of Serie A’s greatest goal scorers himself, who played with Sanchez for three years at Udinese.

The Manchester United forward has not had a great 18 months and has been unable to adapt to his new surroundings, while injuries have not helped him settle either.

Rumours about a poor attitude have surfaced, but this goes against what those who have played with him say.

Di Natale was there when he made the breakthrough at Udinese in 2008 and knew he’d go far, having seen many talented players throw away their chance to make a name for themselves because of a bad attitude.

“Alexis was the contrary: I’ve never seen him distracted, he was always attentive and focused, he was always ready to work harder in order to improve, to add some new trick to his natural talent,” he told the Arsenal website in 2015.

“He was also interested in those aspects of the game that talented forwards often hate: the tactical aspects, the physical dimension, the way to help the midfielders and even the full-backs.

“This is probably his secret, and the thing that has allowed him to become one of the greatest players around today: he combines individual quality with a willingness for collective sacrifice.”

Sanchez is now being linked with a move back to Italy where he began his career in Europe and where years of hard work earned him a move to Barcelona.

Sanchez has scored 63 Premier League goals in 154 games, but just four since joining Man United in 2018
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It is thought that the 30-year-old, who has scored just three Premier League goals since joining United – on a reported £500,000-a-week – wants to return to Serie A, suggesting that claims he is finished as a top level footballer are wide of the mark.

Inter are hoping to agree a season-long loan deal with the option to buy. AC Milan, Napoli and Juventus are also interested.

Sanchez has been hampered by injury during his time as a Man United player
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“When a player thinks he has no need to improve, he’s close to the end, he’s destined to be dethroned,” Di Natale added.

“Sanchez, on the contrary, has always shown a hunger to get better, and he’s always been willing to sacrifice the sweat and tears to do so. I never got the sense that he was satisfied with what he achieved,” adding that it is this lack of complacency that has helped him play for Barca, Arsenal and now Man United.

Sanchez once locked himself out of his car and used it as an excuse to train

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has even tried to rubbish rumours Sanchez has a poor attitude.

“Alexis is such a professional and he comes in working every single day, really hard, and he wants to be part of this,” he said ahead of the Premier League game against Wolves.

“He’s part of our squad and he’s a very, very good player. He’s had three weeks now, so he’s a few weeks behind the rest but he’s very close to being part of it.”

Not only is Sanchez the best partner Di Natale has ever had, he is also one of the hardest working players in training, too
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And when it comes to another well paid South American wonder, Sanchez trumps Neymar, too, according to Di Natale.

Asked how he would compare the two players, he said that he’d love both in his side, but if he had to pick one it would be the United man.

“He’s a little more ‘concrete’ than the Brazilian,” he explained.