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Goodbye Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez has left Manchester United for Inter Milan as Solskjaer’s ruthless but needed transfer policies continue to be in place at Manchester United F.C.

Solskjaer has been very adamant regarding Sanchez’s future at the club over the past year in his press briefings stating that the Chilean indeed has a future in his team, however, it has turned out that Solskjaer has lost all hope for any possible rejuvenation or come back from a player that every Premier League defense was terrorized of. 

At Arsenal, Sanchez thrived when he was at the heart of the play. It was not enough for him to wait in the area, feeding off the work of others. He wanted to create as well as finish, start a move up the pitch before surging forward and closing in on goal. He was a thoroughly modern player, who acted without a predetermined position. 

So where did it go wrong for Sanchez at Arsenal?

  1. Alexis wanted to win
  2. Get paid more
  3. Arsenal was not in the Champions League
  4. No contention for a top-four place

Step in Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United who offered him a contract worth more than twice of his at Arsenal, going up to £505,000 a week

Jose Mourinho, as everyone knew was having trouble adjusting to integrate Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s football persona into his system with the Portuguese repeatedly dropping him from the starting eleven and also calling him out in the press for not tracking back on the counter and lacking physicality and aggression that a Jose Mourinho team demanded. As a result, Mkhitaryan ended up being the deserved scapegoat and was used to facilitate the arrival of Alexis Sanchez.

Since his arrival in England in 2014, Alexis Sanchez had been one of the best players in the league. The Chilean was also instrumental in his national team winning back to back Copa America titles. Manchester United had got hold of a world-class player who possessed the ability to change games in a moment on his own. The former Barcelona forward was a versatile player and as said by Jose Mourinho “capable of playing in four different positions in “attack”. Without a doubt, it was a signing deemed that will immediately lift the quality of the team and morale of the dressing room.

So now … there is the last question. 

Why and where did it go wrong for Alexis Sanchez? 

Two to put it plainly 

  1. Overconfidence – Playing on a 500K+ contract and having a million shirt sales and followers on your Instagram account doesn’t guarantee a world-class performance week in week out, much less a starting position. Alexis was in his head the second he stepped into Old Trafford. The ego he had of getting his move away started being seen by him of things to finally come after four years of endless efforts and pain with little end product at Arsenal. However even Lionel Messi has had to toil in the week in week out despite going through numerous Champions League losses, a mentality Sanchez said he had picked up himself from Messi at Barcelona in his early days as a footballer but which were nowhere to be seen at United.
  2. Age Factor: Alexis was 29 at the time he joined United, as a result of all the previous reasons listed above his mentality, work rate and desire of putting in efforts all decreased. At times there were situations when Sanchez wanted to make a run in between defenders and used to strive and sprint with all his might but still used to be left a yard behind the threaded through passes from midfield. An athlete’s physique starts to drain and drop more towards his 30s and Alexis lack of efforts towards himself and the club didn’t help Jose Mourinho’s or Solskjaers bid to incite a Sanchez comeback. 

So was letting Alexis leave a wrong decision? Or should he be given one last chance to repay the faith with which he had been brought in? 

It is important to note that Sanchez was already 30 by the time Solskjaer would have started his season. Solskjaer had already announced to the United board and the summer his transfer, recruitment and player profile policies. Alexis Sanchez didn’t fit any of them in any shape or form. Sanchez was well past his prime, he wasn’t able to cope with the fast, fluid counter-attacking football Solskjaer wanted to play and worst of all keeping deadwood in the squad would have hampered Solskjaer’s further efforts to get players he actually wanted in the squad, with Sanchez’s massive wages restricting him from doing so. 

Besides at the start of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign, this is where and how much damage Alexis Sanchez had done to Manchester United.

Total Wages paid: £60m

Wages per year: £26m

£11.9m per goal

£6.6m per assist 

£280,000 for Sanchez to touch the ball.

And as if all this was not enough, 

Manchester United had to pay a settlement ranging between £5-£10m for Sanchez to leave. 

Sanchez’s transfer from Arsenal to Manchester United was so bad it was borderline offensive. Neither party benefitted from it as even the player Arsenal got from the swap deal didn’t perform well for them. Both of them find themselves in Italy and by how low a spectator’s standards had dropped while watching them, especially Sanchez who was arguably once the best player in the PL… They’ve been doing quite well. This transfer of Sanchez to Inter Milan looks like it’ll benefit both parties. While Manchester United may not have got a direct transfer fee for him, that’s reportedly 26 million per year of the books for them. Looking at how bad he’s performed at United, they were desperate to get rid of him and they’ll be ecstatic to see their no. 7 spot open up, which may be occupied by a certain Englishman in the near future. Inter will also be happy since Sanchez has taken a pay cut and they’ve got a decent player with excellent talent with no transfer fees paid.

No this is not a rant article but to focus on how much Sanchez’s transfer has hurt United. We could blame all day on Mourinho’s style of play but this deal cost United a fortune.

We wish luck to Sanchez on his new journey and thank him for his utmost professionalism at United. Thank you for helping us beat Man City 2-3.

Goodbye Alexis.

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