Saturday, August 8 2020


The curious case of Alexis Sanchez

Update: September, 28/2018 - 09:00
Big earner: Sanchez is struggling for form at United, scoring just one goal in six months. — File Photo
Viet Nam News

Paul Kennedy

When Liverpool sold Luis Suarez in 2014 I was devastated. Deep down I always knew he was going to leave because when Barcelona come calling, it’s difficult to say no.

Suarez is a brilliant player, and one who is almost impossible to replace. Liverpool received a hefty chunk of change for the Uruguayan and decided to spend it, well I’d like to say wisely, but I can’t.

They replaced a world class striker with, wait for it, Ricky Lambert and Mario Balotelli. 

One was an aged Southampton player who was best suited in the lower leagues and the other is a player who’s best suited to a ball pit in a children’s activity centre in the Times City Mall.

There were no surprises when the Reds failed to match their previous season’s title chase sans-Suarez and it’s only really this season, some four years after his departure, they have finally put together a team worthy of challenging for top spot.

After the whole Lambert/Balotelli debacle, manager Brendon Rogers was quickly given the boot and now plies his trade north of the English border in a league probably best suited to him, and his perfect teeth.

He was quick to jump on the fact that his failing was partly, if not wholly, down to Liverpool’s failure to replace Suarez with his number one target at the time, a young and hungry talented striker by the name of Alexis Sanchez.

Instead of the northwest, Sanchez chose a move to Arsenal and, to be fair, looked to be a decent acquisition for the Gooners at the time.

He said, like many before him, he preferred the bright lights of London and living in the UK’s capital over a move to Merseyside.

Watching him play at the time I felt while he wasn’t as good as Luis, he certainly would have proved to be a decent replacement for Liverpool.

He possessed a South American street-fighting style with a keen eye for goal akin to Suarez and in his early time at Arsenal was on fire. He still tops the charts as Arsenal’s highest scorer over the past four years.

But one thing that’s certain in football is there is no such thing as loyalty. When Manchester United put an offer in, Sanchez packed his bags and headed up the M1 motorway (to be fair, he probably flew in a private plane).

He may have been interested in expanding his game, improving on the pitch, winning trophies, playing Champions League football and working hard to become a better player for the Old Trafford faithful.

Or maybe he was just a greedy so-and-so and had his head turned by the downright ridiculous pay packet United offered.

Those in the know suggest Sanchez picks up £391,000 a week. With an extra £75,000 on top for, get this, playing a match. Come on, isn’t that what he’s paid to do in the first place, play a match?

Can you imagine going into work in the morning and saying to your boss, “Listen, I know you pay me X amount of salary each month but I would like more money on top each time I, er, come into work.”

Give it a try, see what happens. Chances are you’ll be posting your resume on Hanoi Massive by the time the weekend arrives.

Oh, and that’s not all. Sanchez also pocketed a cheeky £1.1 million just for signing for United.

His weekly wage is the equivalent of VND14 billion a week! A week, for the love of God!

He’s the highest earner in a team jam-packed with high earners but things are not going too well for the Chilean international right now. In fact they’ve not been going too well for him for some time.

Sanchez has scored just two goals in 17 appearances for Manchester United. His last goal in the league came six months ago.

Beer loving footballer turned pundit, Paul Merson, said of Sanchez on TV the other day: "He looks a bit lost at the moment, but that could be confidence."

Could be confidence? He’s picking up around VND14 billion a week. That’s VND56 billion a month or VND728 billion each year. On his current form, each league goal he has netted has cost United about VND364 billion.

Short of confidence?

If he needs a confidence boost all he’s got to do is pop over to the ATM machine and do a quick ‘on-screen’ balance check.

I was gutted when Liverpool sold Luis Suarez and pretty annoyed we never replaced him with Alexis Sanchez.

Oh how times change in football. — VNS



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