Alexis Sanchez made a mistake in leaving Arsenal for Manchester United, claims Robert Pires, after spilling the beans on his “complex relationship” with Jose Mourinho.
Sanchez joined United in a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan last January, but has struggled to find anywhere near his best form and has only scored four goals for the club – and now reports claim Mourinho is ready to move him on when the transfer window reopens.
And with his place in the United side now very much Anthony Martial’s, Pires reckons Sanchez may have blundered in moving to Old Trafford.
“Honestly, it surprised me,’ Pires told Chilean newspaper El Mercurio when asked about Sanchez’s Gunners exit.
“For me, Sanchez had to stay at Arsenal, where he was one of our stars.
“I don’t know if he could say no to United, but I think the style of play of the London club suits his performances better. But you have to respect his decision.”
Pires added: “Alexis was very good, he’s an excellent footballer, but I also got to know him as a person and I can say that I loved knowing him, he is a friend.
“He stands out for his professionalism and that helped Arsenal to win several trophies.”
Pires also discussed Sanchez’s troubles at Old Trafford and has told the player he will most likely have to move on in January to resurrect his career.
“He’s going through a complex moment,” Pires added. “The relationship with the manager is always important, but it’s notable that there are complications between Jose Mourinho and him.
“When you’re a United manager and you have players like Paul Pogba and Sanchez, you have to take care of them, because in the end the only important thing is for the team to win.
“When there are problems, the most important and complicated thing, at the same time, is to sit down to talk and say things face to face.
“Sanchez doesn’t deserve to be on the bench or stay at home.
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“We’ll see if he finds a solution in January, because he is not playing and he has to do it, since he is a wonderful footballer.”
If United do manage to offload Sanchez, it’s claimed Mourinho is keen to bring in PSV star Steven Bergwijn as a replacement.