The most decorated transfer saga of this season was finally confirmed as Alexis Sanchez was officially unveiled as a Manchester United player on Monday evening, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan going in the other direction to join Arsenal.
(You may also be interested in Jose Mourinho hails unforgettable Henrikh Mkhitaryan as transfer saga draws to a close)
With increased speculation since the summer about Sanchez's footballing future with Bayern Munich, PSG, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City all expressing an interest, United ultimately headed off their rival suitors with an enticing financial package that just seemed too good for the Chilean international to refuse.
Reported by Give Me Sport in the immediate aftermath of his Arsenal exit, Alexis Sanchez took to Instagram to post a farewell message to the North London side, thanking both the supporters and club staff for all of their efforts during his three and a half years at the Emirates.
However, along with his messages of gratitude, Sanchez also took the opportunity to fire back at some of Arsenal’s former players, after having the motives behind his move to Old Trafford questioned. The Chilean also likened his departure to that of that of legendary striker Thierry Henry when he left to join Barcelona in 2007, in a statement that Arsenal fans found difficult to comprehend, Sanchez wrote:
Although there was no issue regarding the lack of acknowledgement towards Arsene Wenger, the club's supporters took umbrage in which he referenced club legend Thierry Henry comparing similarities with his own departure to that of Henry's to Barcelona.
Here are a selection of their astute responses:
Henry changed and won the cl, he changed to earn 500k a week it’s as simple as that, wish him nothing but the worst— Alfie Bayliss (@alfie_bayliss) January 22, 2018
Sanchez is essentially comparing him going to United for money to Henry going to the biggest club in the world at their peak to win the European cup after giving us nearly a decade, cups, doubles and an unbeaten season 🚮🚮🚮— Ginghino (@ginghino) January 22, 2018
Although team's supporters can be a fickle breed, they certainly are not deluded they can use their inference to draw their own conclusions. Sanchez's move was inevitable, but the way it has been managed and its motives remain questionable.
Nevertheless, the one person that seems to be forgotten in this whole process is Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Arsenal's capture of the talented Armenia international could prove be a masterstroke, the Gunners could be the ones that really benefit from the deal as he has a point to prove regardless of all of Sanchez's financial rewards.