From Abdullahi Ibrahim Jalo
Man United has successfully signed Alexis Sanchez under rivals, City’s nose. The Chilean has signed from Arsenal in a long dragged out deal which sees Henrikh Mkhitaryan goes the other way.
The Chilean came close to joining Manchester City last summer but the deal didn’t go through as Arsenal, determined to only sell after finding his replacement, were unsuccessful in their pursuit. So when this winter window opened, Sanchez was expected to leave only for City and the news of United joining the race to sign him came as a shock to many United fans and pundits. Fast forward to some days, it was reported that City have chickened out of the race because they can’t match the outrageous wages – reportedly £350,000 a week – Man United have offered to the Attacker, giving United a free run.
The marquee signing has sent a statement across the City, the country, and Europe at large, that United can still attract the best players and have the financial muscle to offer them massive and irresistible wages that would ward off rivals.
As a United fan I have always felt Sanchez-esque player is the missing piece of the jigsaw in this United side: A magician, a player who can take a game by the scruff of the neck and offer us more creativity, dynamism and width.
There have been debates over where Alexis will fit in at United. The Chilean has played most of his time at Arsenal on the left wing which has so far been well contested by Martial and Rashford. The Chilean has also played most of his time at Udinese and Barcelona on the right wing and that is where United seemed to lack genuine option. Mata, Lingard and the going Mkhitaryan have all played there and none has made the position his own. The trio both lacks dexterity and pace, whereas Sanchez has got it all. It’s a no brainer that is where he will fit at.
Having played in a central forward role for Arsenal last season and recorded his best personal tally of 30 goals there, Sanchez could be a viable alternative to Romelu Lukaku.
In Sanchez, Man United has finally got the player that would do justice to the iconic No. 7 shirt which was donned by George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and lately Cristiano Ronaldo. It remains to be seen whether he would follow the footsteps of his predecessors and earn himself a golden legendary status at Old Trafford.