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The new Alexis role?
José when Sánchez arrives: so do you know the phrase ‘defensive forward?’ That’s what you do now.
Alexis: Oooooh Bollocks.
Chelsea should make a move for Rashford
With Sanchez to Man United pretty much nailed on and your recent article on how he might fall down the pecking order behind Sanchez and Lukaku in his favoured position, I think it’s now fair to guess that the soul is pretty much being ripped out of Manchester United.
I find myself wishing Chelsea should tempt United with a bid for Marcus Rashford.
He fulfills all the requirements that we need from a second striker. And he is not a million years old.
With Batshuayi going on loan and Chelsea needing more English talent, what’s not to love?
Would any other Chelsea fans out there take Rashford at chelsea? How much do you think it would cost?
Paul (CFC), Abuja
Planet Sport recommends: Magnificent Chung dismantles Djokovic (Tennis365)
Stop sniping about Sanchez…it’s a brilliant signing
United have decided to splash out on a world-class forward who is proven in the Premier League (60 goals and 25 assists in 122 appearances) and, as a supporter, the excitement is palpable because the guy is a match winner who will make a difference in tight matches and hopefully help get us closer to where we want to be. And by splash out I mean have essentially paid £0 in transfer fees yet will pay a premium in terms of wages and signing-on fee. Even if the figures being bandied about are true (£400k a week), over four years this is around £83m – Liverpool just paid slightly less than that for a CB who is nearly 27 and only has a handful of caps for the poorest Dutch side in generations. Needs must.
Yet instead of being allowed to enjoy the possibilities of a wonder signing, we are disparaged because apparently it is all about the money. You see this one is different from all other transfers ever completed, given that every other player selected their club based on history, the fans, the manager, the possibility of winning something, the halftime pies etc. but never (ever!) was a decision based on money. If they could, these bastions of charity would have played for free but, you know, the kids need shoes so they kindly settle for meagre paycheques with only five zeroes on the end of it per week. But that greedy sod Al€xi$ $anch€z wanted a bit more than poor (and always frugal) Man City could afford so he chose Man Utd. I can hear you say, Man who? I’m reliably informed by Wiki that they are the biggest and most successful club in England, who have one of the most successful managers at the helm and play in front of 76,000 fans every other week – why would anyone of sound mind go there except for money?
Put simply, if the world’s most valuable football club wants to spunk some of its wads of cash to pay a premium for a player it badly needs then what is the issue? City moved the goalposts when they started throwing their oil money around (who could forget the smug ‘Welcome to Manchester’ Tevez poster?) and now that a bigger club has the temerity to compete financially they are taking their ball and going home. My advice is to use those £50 notes you didn’t give Sanchez to dry your eyes. And for supporters of other clubs who are sniping, you wouldn’t be complaining if he was joining your club so let us have this one please.
Garey Vance, MUFC
…If the ‘he moved for money’ mantra is what the ABUs need to help them sob themselves to sleep at night, than I’m happy to accept it.
But then again – maybe Sanchez isn’t a typical City mercenary, happy to jump into their squad half way through a season and gain a half-earned league winners medal while being rotated with Sane and Sterling. Maybe he wants to play every week and earn some success of his own the hard way?
Whatever the motivation, we are getting a player worth at least £50m for nothing more than a player we’re not using and a large weekly wage. Seems like a bargain to me.
After all, how United spend their money is their business. (How City spend theirs is the Sheik’s business).
…To the idiot who says City and Bayern didn’t agree to Sanchez high wage demands and only united would, you are right but another take on it (yes a defending biased one, but a few valid points). Well the only reason they didn’t agree to his high wage demands is because he’s not as desperately needed as those other two clubs as he is at United. You would only see that being paid if he would be the ‘Main Man’. Didn’t City just spend over £150m on three fullbacks two if which the bulk of 150M would be starters no? Didn’t they pay Raheem Sterling handsomely (and rightfully so) you could also add quite a few names to the Man City squad alone but that’s none of my business.
Hear me out – at Bayern or any top level team he would be a squad player (albeit a very good squad player) but pay would only be reflected for a guy that’s going to start/shine. Correct me if I’m wrong Bayern have also just signed Goretzka. Yes different player (and Window) but you haven’t signed him to leave him on the bench also in the Bayern squad younger talent who you need to give time to like Coman, Muller not young but I don’t think the fans would be happy with that, the man also has a habit of scoring important goals, also a certain pretty good no.9 at the club in Mr Lewandowski. James Rodriguez too (again Sanchez may or may not be an upgrade but you didn’t sign the player to let the guy rot even Madrid tried with him for two years before moving on). Arjen Robben/Franck Ribery still at the club. Not at the level they were a few seasons ago but they are loved and still have something to offer. A very large talented squad already without Alexis.
At Man City I think the same applies. He is a better player than Sane and Sterling but again they are having fantastic seasons and would be very harsh to be dropped currently (yes Sanchez is better but it’s not like replacing sterling/sane with Messi). Then Jesus and Aguero I don’t feel he’ll be taking their roles. Silva and De Bruyne are pretty safe. To me that seems like the attacking roles all filled. At the end of it all you can only have 11 on a pitch at the same time and 20 odd players In the squad. Even if he is world-class if he’s going to be part of a large squad and be rotated I don’t think you could logically agree to giving the high pay packet. At that point the ball is in your court to say well come play for us or we aren’t paying because Man City haven’t been missing a Sanchez.
At United he will start, he will be heavily relied upon, will be an upgrade (okay he’d be an upgrade in any squad but at united for Mata or Lingard, that could be quite big difference). Which is where the large sums for me makes sense as to why we paid and the other clubs didn’t because at Manchester United he automatically becomes an essential. We’ve been crying out for a squad overhaul and it is slowly taking shape. This is one of the moves.
Just a few thoughts.
FYI – I didn’t know wages were included In the transfer. As for China money – please leave it out. What’s wrong with earning China Money in the Prem/Europe whilst not really sacrificing having to drop a few levels.
…In the context of today’s transfer market (rightly or wrongly) being what is, if Alexis had a number of years remaining on his contract, I don’t think it would be incredibly outlandish for Arsenal to demand a fee – particularly from a domestic rival – of, say, £90m and for the player himself to command a salary of around £250,000pw
With Sanchez’ contract at Arsenal being what it is though, United are only ‘paying’ (albeit in the shape of Mkhitaryan) approx. £30m up front and then ‘overpaying’ him to the tune of a further £200/250,000pw. Depending on whose figures you believe, even at the upper end, that ‘over payment’ will add up to just shy of £60m (£250k extra x 234 weeks = £58.5m).
So, £30m/Mkhitaryan up front + £58.5m = a ‘transfer fee’ £88.5m, with the added benefits of amortising nearly two-thirds it over a few years *and* not swelling the coffers of a ‘Big 6 rival’ (debateable, granted) by a penny into the bargain.
Despite the collective pant-wetting over the apparently ‘China-esque’ wage packet, it’s really not, is it? It’s United paying the going rate (or at least somewhere in its ball park) for a player of considerable proven quality in the Premier League, just structured in a fashion appropriate to the slightly unusual circumstances.
In summary – calm down.
Luke Nuckley, Southampton
…I’ve seen a bunch of people bicker about the merits of the Sanchez/Mkhitaryan transfer, especially when it comes to the figures involved, considering United’s vast financial outlay. I’m not going to get into the numbers, because we don’t even know if what has been reported is correct, but considering United are not paying any transfer fees, and getting Mkhitaryan off their payroll, I think they probably don’t see an issue in paying Sanchez extra. As to whether this will impact the wages of the rest of the top players in the squad, if we’re sitting here considering it, it’s a fair bet Woodward and Co. have thought of the future too.
I do think Mkhi will do well at Arsenal though, especially if he links up with Aubemeyang. It’s a little sad to see him go, because like Mata he seems a lovely bloke, and is capable of some magic moments (the solo goal in Europe last season my pick of the bunch), but the fact of the matter is that he has severely underperformed. It seems strange to label Sanchez a panic buy, because I don’t think you need to panic when you swap a player that can’t get into your team for a genuine proven world class talent in Sanchez.
This is not even taking into consideration that Sanchez seems a lot more like a Mourinho player. He’ll chase every ball, work hard, and stand up and take charge in big games. Initially I wondered about the merits of buying him, and whether it will hinder the development of Martial, Rashford, and Lingard, but the simple fact of the matter is that you don’t pass up a chance to improve your squad when your rivals are running away from you. This way Rashford can develop at his own leisurely pace, and Jose’s counter attack has a genuinely terrifying outlet.
If you remember, it took Jose a couple of seasons to work out how to beat Pep’s Barcelona team (in my opinion the greatest club side of all time), but when he did he figured he could bypass the famous Barca press by hitting diagonals to Ronaldo, whose pace and finishing would hurt a defence that wasn’t used to being tested. Until now, United didn’t have anybody that could play that role (to a high standard anyway) – Sanchez can. It also takes the heat of Pogba, as he doesn’t need to be the sole creative outlet anymore. If you’ve watched recent United games, you can see that we don’t create enough clear cut chances when Pogba isn’t involved, because the decision making in the attacking third is always so poor. We’re winning because our shooting (Martial) has been so good, but you can’t rely on that all the time.
So when people keep talking of value, we may not see the full benefits this season, but football’s not going to cease to exist after this season ends. United will be much better in the Champions League, and that much stronger come August.
Signing Alexis isn’t a panic buy, it’s a miracle.
Pats (All of a sudden, can’t wait for big games anymore!)
…Aditya, (MUFC), it would help if you didn’t read the 400k a week fake news and panic. It was the same rubbish when Pogba was being signed. He was going to be earning 300k and 400k as well and was coming to United just for the money. Then he signed and we find out he will earn 200k after bonuses and chose United. Sanchez will be on similar wages.
So relax and enjoy this fantastic transfer. We are getting Sanchez, one of the top players in the PL and getting him on the cheap. Don’t let the haters tell you otherwise or dampen your excitement.
Jarron, MUFC (ABUs going to hate)
Lessons Arsenal should learn
With the Sanchez saga leading to its conclusion, there’s a lesson the Arsenal top brass could learn. Rather than leaking dressing room disruptions, wage claims and the rest to paint a crudely drawn villain onto an outstanding professional, I hope they learn a simple fact of the game: money talks.
It’s hard to argue, from a footballing perspective at least, that Man City w/Guardiola wouldn’t of been a better move for Alexis; he even agreed to join in the summer. Man United were all too aware of this fact, so they looked at what they could attract Sanchez with.
The result? They gazumped their rivals to a world-class player. That’s how a big club behaves.
Now, the papers are reporting that Alexis will be swapped with Mikhitaryan plus a 10-mil fee. We should be taking that money, plus any excess in the wage budget, and throwing it in Ozil’s nonchalant face.
If he has concerns about achieving success at AFC, why not give him an extra 150,000 reasons to stay?
Finally, Dortmund are (allegedly) haggling over a fee for Aubameyang (they want 55 mil). Why not use the money from Walcott, Coquelin and Chamberlain to just pay the extra ten million – we’d still be operating in a profi t- to secure a world-class player this window a la Man U? Who knows, we might even get a tilt at the (top four) title this year.
Liam Gabriel Hoskins (Don’t say ‘because it’s Arsenal’) AFC
Hats off to Bobby for coming out and rubbishing Keown on Sanchez; this mercenary talk hyperbole and flat out character assassination is excrement of the male cow of the highest order.
Alexis wants to win, to play for a Prem and Champs League competing club. He naturally wouldn’t mind more cash. Arsenal have spectacularly failed to offer this. He’s not moving to China folks.
Do I care it’s United not City? I hate United and Mourinho probably more than anything else in football, but whatever, signing Sanchez is Mourinho’s attempt to stick one in Pep’s eye and Mkhitarayan is a player I always liked for Dortmund.
So yeh, it’s Arsenal’s fault we’re losing our best player since Henry (maybe joint with Cesc), Sanchez clearly wants to leave for loads of good reasons, and Arsenal fans and media just need to get over it. He’s not a snake or a mercenary and people need to get a grip.
Chill out and leave the man alone.
Wanting to see United fall into a ‘too many cooks’ mess is fair though…
Tom, Not West Hampstead
…It feels strange as an Arsenal fan to want to defend Sanchez but it feels like he is getting an unfair ride at the moment. As I’m not one of those fans that wishes their ex-players ill (I especially like seeing Fabregas do well, as he comes accross as such a great guy) I feel the need to defend him.
Firstly, why would he leave Arsenal? Erm, how about he wants to win something of significance? Yes, he has 2 FA Cups and 2 Community Shields but he is a player who deserves to be winning more than that.
By going to Manyoo now, he now has the chance to win the Champions League. As much as I dislike him, it’s not like Jose has not won it before. And if they do eventually click, Manyoo have a lot of good players. Pogba, Sanchez, Lukaku, Martial and Mata should have enough about them to score against anyone. With Matic providing the cover in Midfield and De Gea in goal, why can’t they win it? And as for next season, surely Man Utd will be wanting to compete for the title. They have the resources to do it and as champions, everyone will be gunning for City. Retaining the Premier League has been a very hard thing to do in recent years.
Yes, he could go to City but would have to wait till next season so he would waste half a season d*cking around with a team in decline and then he would be playing for a team where he would not be guaranteed a starting spot. Sanchez loves to play so he would enjoy sitting on the being 1 game in 3, or whatever it would be.
As for the money, yes it’s a lot of money but he would have been able to command that much on a free at the end of the season anyway. By choosing to pay it early and a bit on top in transfer fees, Manyoo have made sure they don’t have to compete with Real, Bayern, City, PSG et all in June. They have the money so why not spend it to make their team better? I wish my team would do the same.
So yes, he is getting lots of money but he is achieving his footballing goals at the same time. What’s wrong with that?
Obviously as he will now be playing for a Jose team I will want him to lose every game, but other than that, good luck to him!
Adonis Stevenson, AFC
Well done Phil
Whisper it quietly (and I’m very aware he’ll probably now pull a muscle trying to dance with Jesse Lingard and be out for two months), but Phil Jones is having a good season.
He’s started 19 out of 24 league matches, only picked up one yellow card, and seems to be free of the succession of minor injuries that have historically limited his games and momentum. He’s even making Chris Smalling look good.
Not usually one to argue with the content on these pages, I couldn’t help but feel Rondon should be in the winners column.
I know he broke someone’s leg, and that is certainly not something to be lauded, but the way he reacted to the terrible accident showed there are footballers out there who still care. We all love a good story about a footballer with his feet on the ground, Palacios waiting for Redknapp’s approval to fly home to see his family for example.
As with Palacios and Rondon, these moments are often the result of a tragedy, but sometimes, out of the adversity comes something to smile about.
Rondon visibly showing emotion, without trying to hide it too much was good to see. That he recovered his composure to be the best player on the pitch, and spank the crossbar with a thunderbastard late on is testament to the man.
Add in the time he saved a Norwich player from injury by catching him, and you have a nice, young man, who you can’t help but like.
Dom (having KdB and Mendy on Twitter helps, lovely chaps) Littleford
Hailing the Premier League’s Mr Averages
Great article about the faceless men that are consistent lower league Premier League players. There have been so many of these players down the years, you know, the ones who average 2 points a week on Fantasy Football. Steven Davis, Matt Taylor, Gary O’Neil, Simon Davies and Matty Etherington are some that spring to mind but there is one group of players that are truly non-descript, the West Brom midfield of 2014/2015.
James Morrison, Chris Brunt, Graham Dorrans and Craig Gardner had the distinction of being regular players in the most media-saturated league in the world, yet, somewhat paradoxically, being completely forgettable in both physical appearance and season highlight reels. In fact, they are actually a metaphor for West Brom in the Premier League: lower mid-table beige. In the case of Morrison and Brunt they have been able to pull off this silent witness act for around a decade. Despite appearing in televised football nearly every week during that time, they are probably able to walk around the West Midlands freely without the fans pestering for selfies or hurling abuse about their performances.
This level of anonymity is something MI6 agents could only dream of.
Joe, Midlands (Craig Dawson also deserves an honourable mention)