herald

Thursday 26 April 2018

Sanchez on a mission

Alexis Sanchez has joined Manchester United on a on a four-and-a-half year deal
Alexis Sanchez has joined Manchester United on a on a four-and-a-half year deal
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has revealed his delight at the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez has officially joined Manchester United from Arsenal - with Henrikh Mkhitaryan moving in the opposite direction.

The Chile forward's move was confirmed yesterday evening after Mkhitaryan agreed personal terms on a move to the Emirates.

Sanchez released a farewell statement on Instagram shortly after the announcement, criticising those who implied he has been mercenary and offering his gratitude to Arsenal's supporters: "There are people (former club players) who have spoken with no knowledge of what happens inside the club and cause damage.

"I must say I always gave 100%, until the last day, when I asked to the Mister to be in the team, because I wanted to be a contribution.

Historic

"I remember today, a conversation I had with Henry, a historic Arsenal player, who changed club for the same reason and today is my turn. "Thanks for everything Gunners! All we achieved and the good moments that I gave to the club, I want to dedicate it to the fans, they are the most important."

On his new club, Sanchez added: "I am thrilled to be joining the biggest club in the world.

"I have spent three-and-a-half wonderful years at Arsenal and I bring with me very positive memories of that great club and its fans.

"The chance to play in this historic stadium and to work with Jose Mourinho was something I could not turn down. I am very proud to be the first Chilean player ever to play for United's first team and I hope I can show our fans all around the world why the club wanted to bring me here."

Mourinho, meanwhile, stated his delight at signing the Chilean, but also reserved praise for the outgoing Mkhitaryan, who won a Europa League and League Cup during his time at Old Trafford. "Alexis is one of the best attacking players in the world and he will complete our very young and talented group of attacking players," said Mourinho.

"He will bring his ambition, drive and personality, qualities that make a Manchester United player and a player that makes the team stronger and the supporters proud of their club dimension and prestige.

"I would like to wish Henrikh all the success and happiness that I am sure he is going to get. He is a player that we will not forget, especially for his contribution to our Europa League victory."

Sanchez has signed a four-and-a-half year contract at Old Trafford in a deal worth around £180m in total. Sanchez could make his Premier League debut at White Hart Lane against Tottenham tomorrow week. Manchester United also play Yeovil Town on Friday night in the FA Cup.

Sanchez will wear the Number 7 shirt at Manchester United, previously worn by club legends such as George Best, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, has insisted there will be life after Sanchez at Arsenal.

"There is always life. Arsenal Football Club is 130 years old and many big players have left. Will it go a bit less good? We will see. But there is always life afterwards," he said after Arsenal's 4-1 win over Crystal Palace.

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