Alexis Sanchez was courted by Pep Guardiola for quite some time and looked on the brink of a move to Manchester City. Instead, he was bought by their arch-rivals at the 11th hour.
Briefly.co.za evaluates how the signing and lack thereof have changed both clubs.
Many reports surfaced indicating that Manchester United’s interest in the player only stemmed from the opportunity of denying Pep his man.
If those allegations are true, it may explain how things have gone so wrong at Old Trafford.
Having signed as the highest paid player, expectations would have been high but the Chilean has looked a shadow of his former self.
Since his move, Chris Smalling has outscored him in the Premier League. A damning stat indeed, especially when one considers he wasn’t even the first-choice centre-back for much of the period.
Alarmingly, Sanchez has been outscored by defenders, James Tarkowski, Harry Mcguire and Shane Duffy, this season as well.
While at Arsenal, he boasted a strike rate of 1 in every 170 minutes of football but that number has dropped to 1 goal in every 495 for the Red Devils.
Aside from the goal drought, Sanchez’s arrival impacted some of his team-mates as well.
The 2 young guns, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, dropped down the pecking order to make way for Sanchez as he occupied the left-wing position.
As a consequence, it seems to have alienated Martial and Jose Mourinho. Martial has rediscovered his best form this season but the young Frenchman may opt not to renew terms with the club.
When City initially approached Arsenal for the signing of Sanchez, the Gunners proposed a swop deal for Raheem Sterling.
As a result of sticking to their guns and refusing the deal, Sterling has had the 2nd highest goal involvement in the Premier League.
Not signing Sanchez, has also allowed players such as Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero to flourish.
Sanchez’s ability to play on the left or as a striker may have relegated 1 of those 2 to a more peripheral role.
Another factor to consider is the impact on the wage bills.
City felt Sanchez’s wage demands to be excessive and feared the potential knock-on effect it could have on the wage bill.
United didn’t flinch and are now paying the highest salary in the league.
The long-term repercussions are that other stars such as Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku may well have much higher wage demands going forward.
It’s fair to say that United have suffered dearly for a poor recruitment strategy in January.
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