Newcastle United legend Shay Given thinks Arsenal would be getting the better end of the deal in an Alexis Sanchez-Raheem Sterling swap with Manchester City.
With rumours of Manchester City’s interest in Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez intensifying over the last few days, it had been suggested that the Gunners may be willing to do business if Sterling was going the other way.
Although this now looks unlikely to happen, Shay Given told talkSPORT that he thought Arsenal would be better off making the trade, saying: “Am I the only person on this planet that thinks Arsenal are going to get a much better deal?”
“Sanchez is 29 in December, Sterling is 22. My reading into it is that Arsenal should be offering Man City money! I know they are different players but he’s only got a number of months left on his contract. I don’t understand it.”
It’s fair to say that Given has a point. This season, Alexis would probably contribute to more goals than Sterling, based off last season’s 49 goals and assists, compared to Sterling’s 31. However, the 29-year-old surely won’t be able to keep up those kinds of numbers for long once he’s in his thirties.
Alexis’ game is much more based around pace and dribbling than other top goalscorers like Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski or Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo in particular adapted his game as he grew older so that he could keep up his goalscoring record without needing pace, but he has much more of a physical presence than Alexis.
Of course, the contract situations are incomparable. Sterling is tied down until 2020 while Alexis only has a year left on his deal. But who gets the best deal depends on what each club want. If City want immediate success after their trophy-less season, maybe the Arsenal man would be better placed to deliver that.