Alexis Sanchez will go down as one of the worst transfers in Manchester United’s history, if not the worst, even if his arrival meant that we were able to move on Henrikh Mkhitaryan. While there was no transfer fee, his salary was obscene and upset the wage structure at the club, and we got next to no return for the outlay.
To illustrate how poor Sanchez was, Daniel James, who made the move up from the Championship last season, equalled the Chilean’s Premier League goal tally over a year and a half in just four appearances.
Sanchez has since moved to Inter Milan, scoring four goals in 32 appearances for the Serie A side last season, and has revealed that he wanted to leave Old Trafford after his very first training session.
I accepted the opportunity to go to United, it felt tempting and it was something good for me, I liked this club a lot when I was a kid. Eventually I signed but I didn’t ask for information on what was happening inside the club.
Sometimes there are things that you don’t realise until you get there, and I remember the first training session I had, I realised a lot of things. After the session I got home and I told my family and my agent ‘can you not rip up the contract to go back to Arsenal?’. They laughed, I told them there’s something that doesn’t sit right, it doesn’t seem good. But I already signed, I was already there. After the first few months I carried on having the same feeling, we weren’t united as a team in that moment.
I’m telling you my experience, the journalists at times would speak without knowing the facts and it hurt, they had no idea what was going on inside the club. They said it was my fault, and this, and that, but sometimes a player depends on the environment, the family that is created around him, and I think that in that moment we weren’t really a family. And that translated onto the pitch, and since there needed to be someone to blame, they blamed me.
It’s hard to decide whether this revelation is more damning of Sanchez’s attitude or Jose Mourinho’s management, with the players clearly unhappy behind the scenes. Sanchez was happy to pick up the extortionate wages while failing to perform on the pitch for a team he didn’t want to play for.
With Sanchez playing dreadfully, Mourinho opted to drop the former Arsenal man from the starting line-up for our 3-1 away defeat against West Ham.
I remember a game against West Ham, I wasn’t picked and that never happened during my career. That changed a lot, it really bothered me and that day I told myself that it couldn’t be possible to go from one of the best players in the Premier League to that in the space of five months.
That bothered me a little, I got home and I was very sad for what happened, the next day I put in a double training session – as I’ve always been, I demand the best from myself in my job, I love what I do, I like football a lot.
File this one alongside Angel Di Maria.