English Premiership

Will Sanchez be on the best or worst list of 7s at United?

2018-01-23 11:52
Alexis Sanchez (Supplied)

London - Alexis Sanchez said Monday he was "thrilled to be joining the biggest club in the world" as he moved to Manchester United from Arsenal in a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The 29-year-old Chile striker, who came close to joining Manchester City last summer, has signed what is believed to be a four-and-a-half-year contract that will make him the highest-paid player in the Premier League.

It has been widely reported that Sanchez will earn a pre-tax salary of €500 000 a week.

Armenia international winger Mkhitaryan, also 29, will head to the Emirates after he fell out of favour with United manager Jose Mourinho during 18 months at Old Trafford.

Sanchez joined Arsenal for £31.7 million in 2014 after three years at Barcelona but his relationship with the Gunners soured after he tried to orchestrate a move to City last year. 

'ONE OF THE WORLD'S BEST'

United will be hoping their substantial investment helps close the gap on their Emirati-backed cross-city rivals Manchester City, who are streaking away with the Premier League title this season.

Sanchez will partner Romelu Lukaku in the United forward line, with England strikers Marcus Rashford, 20, and the in-form Jesse Lingard, 25, forced to fight for their places.

Mourinho said: "Alexis is one of the best attacking players in the world and he will complete our very young and talented group of attacking players."

Sanchez spent three years at Barcelona, winning La Liga in 2013. At Arsenal he twice lifted the FA Cup, but did not come close to a Premier League title and his frustration has been evident this season amid reports of rows with teammates.

He has played 119 times for Chile and helped his nation win back-to-back Copa America titles in 2015 and 2016, although they failed to qualify for next year's World Cup in Russia.

His move to United was celebrated in his homeland, where fans on social media lauded the Red Devils' "winning" mentality, in contrast to the paucity of recent success at Arsenal.

"The golden destiny of Alexis," said daily newspaper La Tercera. 

To don the number seven jersey at United, you had to be a special talent and it all started in the 1960s with George Best. However, not every player who has worn the jersey brought life to the club.

Here is a list of the best and worst players who have donned the famous number:

Best of the past

George Best (1963-74)

Steve Coppell (1975-83)

Bryan Robson (1981-94)

Eric Cantona (1992-97)

David Beckham (1992-2003)

Cristiano Ronaldo (2003-09)

Disappointing bunch

Antonio Valencia (2009 - present)

Neil Webb (1989 - 1992)

Michael Owen (2009 - 2012)

Angel di Maria (2014 - 2015)

Memphis Depay (2015 - 2017) 

In which category will Sanchez's name be in when he calls time on his Manchester United career?

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