Former Manchester United midfielder David Beckham has revealed his astonishment that Arsenal allowed Alexis Sanchez to leave Emirates Stadium to “the biggest club”.
Beckham was speaking at the launch of his new Major League Soccer franchise in Miami, the city to which he dreams of bringing some of football’s leading players, when he was asked about Chile forward Sanchez’s recent switch to Old Trafford.
The former England captain, now 42, said: “I still can’t believe it’s happened to be honest. When he’s been part of a club as big as Arsenal and then he moves a few hours away up north to the biggest club, it’s astonishing to see.
“We all wish him luck, I’m a Manchester United fan so I am excited about having someone of his talent wearing a Manchester United shirt – so it’s exciting times for us.”
Beckham also launched a staunch defence of United manager Jose Mourinho.
“Of course he’s the right fit for Manchester United, we’re talking about Jose Mourinho, he’s one of the best managers in the game,” said Beckham.
“Manchester United have had success over the last 25 years because we have had stability that has run throughout our club.
“Sir Alex Ferguson – the amount of time he was manager of the team – that’s why we were successful because we had stability that ran through the club and that’s what we need going forward.
“Everyone is going to have their own opinion of (Mourinho) as a manager, him as a person, him as an individual. But is he the right person to lead Manchester United? Yes, of course he is.”
Beckham took up the option to acquire an MLS expansion franchise at a discounted rate of $25million when he signed for the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007.
He believes his project will have the means to recruit some of the world’s top stars, but insists he wants to give the “young kids of Miami” a chance too.
“People all want to see these players play,” he said. “You talk about Cristiano (Ronaldo), you talk about Zlatan (Ibrahimovic), you talk about (Lionel) Messi. Realistically, can we afford to bring in players like that, who knows?
“We have a lot of experience and owners that are very powerful in many different areas and obviously have the expertise.
“Do we have the means to bring in these players? Yes, of course we do, but do we want to bring young talented players from Miami into this team? Of course, that’s our aim.
“This is now where the real work begins. We’ve done well to get to this point because there were certain moments where I didn’t think it was going to happen.
“The difference now is the league is a lot more stable than it was 15-20 years ago. I always knew that Miami was the right city. I said from day one this is where I want the team to be.
“People want to see players that have won everything in the game but the more interesting thing for us as an ownership group, and as a team, is to bring through the young kids of Miami.
“That will be the moment where we know we’ve succeeded.”
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