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Alexis Sanchez: Could he be the new number 7 of Manchester United?

Sagun Sudhir
12.53K   //    19 Aug 2017, 16:24 IST

Arsenal FC v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League
Alexis Sanchez was Arsenal's top scorer last season

The transfer saga of Arsenal's forward Alexis Sanchez refuses to end and now there are reports that Manchester City will test Arsenal's resolve by lodging a whopping £60 million bid. City have been the clear media favourites throughout the summer and were tipped to land the 28-year-old Chile forward and yet the deal seems to be as close to concluding as it was in May.

Arsene Wenger is desperate to keep hold of Sanchez after he a career year last season in terms of goals as he nettted 30 goals in 51 games. To put it simply, Sanchez is at his prime and was in red hot form throughout last season. Losing Sanchez at this stage for Arsenal might lead to a mass exodus and other key players might want out as well.

A couple of other Arsenal stars like Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain have reportedly been weighing their options too and Sanchez's departure might trigger them to leave Arsenal as well.

Alexis Sanchez has been linked to a variety of big clubs across Europe in the last three months including Manchester City, Paris Saint Germain, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and even Chelsea at some point in the summer. And yet, there is one team in England which would love to have Sanchez as their new number 7 and there has been no suggestion of it in the media. Yes, I am talking about Manchester United.

Sanchez will be an able replacement for Ronaldo

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League
Ronaldo is the only Manchester United player to have won the Ballon d'Or in over 48 years.

Cristiano Ronaldo's departure from Manchester United in the year 2009 left a huge void which has not been filled at all, United have not even come close to successfully finding a replacement. They have tried out various players like Angel Di Maria, Memphis Depay and even Antonio Valencia initially but have been unsuccessful by all means.

This is exactly why Alexis Sanchez fits the bill for the Red Devils. He is in the mould of Cristiano Ronaldo and has proven it time and again in the Premier League for Arsenal. He has been a consistent source of goals and assists alike for the Gunners in the last three seasons and even bagged 30 goals last time around!

The Chilean was the Gunners' top scorer and bagged 24 goals in the Premier League, finishing behind only the golden boot winner Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku. It is worth mentioning the remarkable fact that Sanchez's tally of 24 goals in the league is twice of the second-highest goal scorer for Arsenal, Olivier Giroud who managed only 12!

Moreover, Sanchez also created a total of 94 chances for his team, including 13 assists and in the process created more goals for his team than even Mesut Ozil.

One year left on his contract

Chelsea v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield
Alexis Sanchez watches on from the stands as Arsenal won the FA Community Shield against Chelsea

It is no secret that Sanchez has one year left on his current contract with Arsenal which means that Arsenal risk losing Sanchez for free next year if they do not cash in on him this year. It also means that Sanchez will be available for a relatively lower price considering his contract.

Typically, in the current transfer market (which unarguably is inflated), Sanchez may easily have been worth £120 million (this is, of course, speculative) but his peculiar contract situation means that he should be available for less than half of that price. It would be a steal for Manchester United if they manage to get their hands on to this player at that price.

Exactly what United need to win the title

Mourinho has enjoyed a rather successful transfer market so far by landing all the top players he wanted like Matic and Lukaku. While there is much more balance in the squad right now than at any other stage in the last ten years, United still lack quality in one area - on the flanks, a winger who can score goals, a true replacement for Ronaldo.

And Alexis Sanchez can be exactly that for Manchester United. It would be a sensible move for the Chilean also as he wants to win the Premier League and by joining United, he will undoubtedly make the Red Devils the clear favourites for the title.

Will Sanchez follow in Robin Van Persie's footsteps?

Manchester United v Swansea City - Premier League
Van Persie won his first Premier League title with Manchester United in 2013

The circumstances surrounding Sanchez are quite similar in nature to that of Robin Van Persie's in the summer of 2012. Van Persie was not convinced of Arsenal's title credentials and eventually decided to join Sir Alex's Manchester United in search of Premier League glory.

Moreover, Mourinho has on multiple occasions reiterated that he is on the lookout for a quality winger. So why not go out and try to convince Alexis Sanchez that he should follow Robin Van Persie's footsteps and join Manchester United? He would be given the number 7 jersey and would be loved by the fans at Old Trafford.

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Sagun Sudhir
A self proclaimed football critic and an avid Manchester United fan.
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