Alexis Sanchez and Manchester United seemed to fit like a glove when the signing was announced, but the move has been far from a success. In January 2018, Jose Mourinho decided he needed another star name to bolster the squad – they had come off the back of a 1-0 win against Burnley but were 12 points adrift of Manchester City and needed something special to claw that gap back.
On previous form, Sanchez could have been that something special – he scored 80 goals in 166 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal, a rate of nearly one in two which his hugely impressive for a player not considered a natural striker.
His all-action, tenacious style was warmly received by Gunners fans and he was able to carve out some of the best form of his career. As often in football though, there was a sour ending – Sanchez wanted to leave the Emirates to play Champions League football and work under the enigmatic Mourinho.
Arsenal took Henrikh Mkhitaryan as part of the deal and Manchester United were so bowled over by the prospect of having the Chilean and so desperate to reduce the gap to City, they offered him one of the most ludicrous contracts in history.
Different sources have given different amounts as to his weekly salary but they are all consistent in saying he is the highest-paid player in the Premier League.
For that, the bare minimum you expect is for a player of his ilk to be scoring 20+ goals a season.
However, the move has been disastrous in almost every way. There are of course players of lesser ability who have performed worse over the years but in comparison to the sheer expectations, Sanchez has been woeful.
In his first half a season, the 30-year-old scored just twice in 12 Premier League games, though you could mitigate by the fact he was making the move mid-season.
What cannot be defended though is a paltry record of just one goal in 20 Premier League games in the 2018-19 season. Sanchez never truly fit into a side built on big names and shirt sales rather than coherence and togetherness.
The former Udinese-man represented the worst excesses of United post-Sir Alex Ferguson – seen as a short-term fix with absolutely no plan on how he fits into the side, and fitness issues mean he hasn’t even been on the bench for their opening two games against Chelsea and Wolves.
But the 30-year-old hasn’t even given them that, and now Inter Milan look set to offer him an escape route from his Old Trafford nightmare.
History certainly won’t judge any party kindly when looking back on this deal – it may sound unkind, but this was a monstrously, expensive mistake.