Written by @jaytalksfootball
One of the most discussed sagas has finally come to an end this January transfer window. Chilean attacker Alexis Sanchez finally got his much-desired wish and is relieved of his duties as an Arsenal player as he turns into a red devil as a dejected and mentally-battered Henrikh Mkhitaryan goes the other direction to become a Gunner as part of a ‘No Fee, Straight Swap’ deal. Now, if you were to just take a look at this deal on the surface without delving too deep into it, you’d probably say that Manchester United got the better end of the stick. However, there’s a lot more positives for Arsenal to take away from this than you’d expect and that it is an equally good deal for both parties.
First of all, lets look at why Arsenal got the better end of the deal. Now, Manchester United could’ve easily waited until the next season to complete the Sanchez deal as they would’ve not only got him for free but would’ve only really have to have paid agent fees as appose to doing all of the above as well as giving away a quality player who although Mourinho barely used could’ve easily made a good £30 Million in todays market. By doing that, they also would avoided strengthening a direct rival in the Premier League as they would’ve had the choice to where his destination is, probably opting for a move abroad if United had the choice More of a loss for United, rather than a plus for Arsenal I guess.
Getting Alexis this early as well doesn’t really much sense as well. Wait. Let me explain. Signing him now would have little impact on the season that United are having right now. I mean, the addition of Alexis is great and there’s no denying that but even with this addition they’re still miles of Manchester City at the top and the likes of Barcelona, Bayern etc in the Champions League and they’re out of the League Cup .The only thing Sanchez can salvage them is if he can win them the FA Cup or maybe get them to the semis of the Champions League. If these aren’t achieved, you maybe have to question whether it was worth rushing the deal in January and possibly just holding out.
In Mkhitaryan, Arsenal will be getting a player with flair that offers goals and assists to a decent amount. They get a player who actually wants to play for the side and will get along well with his teammates…something Alexis didn’t. With that being said, he suits Arsenal’s style of play perfectly. Arsenal play attacking football, which is something, he rarely experienced during his time at United under the tactics of Mourinho. With the addition of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also incoming, we could possibly see the reuniting of the partnership between Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, which saw them, record A LOT of goals. Arsenal lost a world-class player but in the long run we could look back on this as a good deal for them believe it or not.
However, by no means do I feel that United got a bad deal. Essentially, they got a world-class attacker, which would be an upgrade on any attacker they had before, in exchange for a player they never used and possibly never had plans on using. And it didn’t cost them a single penny in transfer fees. Whichever way you look at it, there is no denying that that is SPECTACULAR business by the negotiating team at Manchester United.
This season for his standard Alexis has been fairly poor and nowhere near his usual best. Some would say that it’s since Chile failed to qualify for the World Cup. Some would say that it’s the whole contract situation. Some would say it’s the poor form of his former side, which just left him demotivated to even put on an Arsenal shirt. I’d say that it’s just all of them. They all piled on top of each other and he was never really focused this season and wanted out. Before it all capitulated, he had the season of his life totaling 30+ goals along with 15+ assists. You could argue that when he’s actually focus and has his head screwed on in the game that’s when you’ll really get the best from the attacker. Quite frankly, Arsenal were never going to get a ‘focused’ Alexis again as he wanted to leave. Now he got his wishes you could say that they’ve got themselves a ‘focused’ Alexis and will have an incredible player if he can replicate his form last season.
If you know Alexis, you know that he’s one of the hardest working players in the Premier League and arguably world football. He never gives up even if things aren’t working out for him. He will try and try and try. This ‘Never Give Up’ attitude is something that Man United have really lacked since the days of Ferdinand, Vidic etc. This could really get them through some hard matches where they could’ve needed this to get that much needed win rather than settle for a draw. Something United gained quite a habit from. Going along with this, Alexis is a presence on the pitch as he adds to the list with the likes of Pogba, Ibra etc. With all this being said, Man United will gain all these qualities with Alexis and arsenal will lose them. Arsenal lose that presence and vocal point on the pitch, which as I said will probably work out better for the Gunners as they didn’t appeal much to this side of Alexis.
Overall, both teams got an equally great deal and both players now suite their team and are happy.
- JayTalksFootball, 2018.