At this stage more or less every major team in the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A is keeping tabs on Udinese winger Alexis Sanchez. The forerunners for acquiring the sprightly young winger, however, appear to be Manchester United and Liverpool, who have been linked to the player more times than just about everybody else combined.
Without a doubt Sanchez is one of the foremost young talents in world football. His acquisition would be a major boost for either team. My question is as follows – which team would be the best fit for Sanchez? Which team would provide the Chilean with the best opportunity to fulfil his potential, which team would best fit his style of play and which team would allow him to excel?
Sanchez, who has garnered the nickname “El Nino Maravilla” is famed for his remarkable pace and awe-inspiring technical ability (as evidenced in the video below). This has seen him tagged with rather obvious comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo. Whilst this association isn’t a million miles away from the truth (his ball control, dribbling ability and tendency to whip in a good cross all attest to that) a better point of comparison, for me, is between Sanchez and Arsenal’s Samir Nasri. Both are remarkably technically gifted players who can operate as either a winger or striker.
Is Sanchez worthy of all this reverential attention? Check out the video below:
Outstanding. If I were Sir Alex Ferguson I would do everything in my power to ensure that United acquire his services in the summer. United have received a bit of a drubbing from critics this season decrying their lack of ability out on the wings. Antonio Valencia’s return may help to add width to United’s starting XI – but the ultimate solution would be to add Alexis Sanchez to the squad. He is, after all, one of the finest young wingers in the world.
When you consider that Sanchez is believed to be a life-long United fan, the match seems nothing short of perfect. United are said to have tracked the Chilean international since he was 18-years-old (he’s now 22) and even back then Sanchez made it clear that he desired to play for the Red Devils one day.
Valencia and Nani are both good enough starters out on the wings for United, but given Sanchez’s versatility (he can play anywhere in the midfield, or upfront) he shouldn’t have any trouble breaking into United’s first-team and making a name for himself in the Premier League.
Valuations for the player have varied, but reports emanating from Italy suggest that Udinese would be willing to accept £30 million for the player in the summer. Despite the hefty price-tag, I foresee a number of teams playing tug-of-war for his services come the end of the season.
I have no doubt that Liverpool will be on the lookout for another winger at the season’s close. But having already splashed £23m for Luis Suarez this January, will the NESV be willing to drop a further £30m for another winger so soon after the fact? I think it’s more likely that Kenny Dalglish will pursue the likes of Ashley Young and Eden Hazard, who won’t be as pricey as Sanchez.
United have their own financial problems, but given the difficulties they’ve had out on the wings this season and Sanchez’s United connection, it’s something of a no-brainer. Come the summer, Alexis Sanchez should join Manchester United.