Henrikh Mkhitaryan has joined Arsenal in a swap deal with Manchester United. Alexis Sanchez is moving in the other direction.
Arsenal and United have finally completed the swap deal for the two 29-year-olds. Earlier in the window, the Chilean reportedly favoured a move to City, but he will now join Mourinho’s side in a permanent transfer.
Rather than pay a transfer fee, United agreed to swap Sanchez for Mkhitaryan, who joins the Gunners on a long-term deal. Alexis will reportedly earn a massive £490,000-per-week in Manchester. The Armenian, meanwhile, will earn a slight increase on the £140,000-per-week he earned at United.
Mkhitaryan struggled for game time in a Manchester United shirt this season. At the start of the campaign, he scored one and assisted five in his first five league games. In the last 13 matches, he’s only started once.
Hopefully Arsenal can help him back to his best.
That best is something we saw during the midfielder’s last season in Germany. Playing for Borussia Dortmund in 2015/16, Mkhitaryan scored 23 and assisted 32 in 52 appearances. If he can manage anything like that with Arsenal, he’ll be a huge success.
The former Dortmund man leaves United with one Community Shield, one League Cup and one Europa League trophy. He assisted 10 and scored 13 in one-and-a-half seasons for the Red Devils, including one in the Europa League final last year. Welcome Henrikh!
Alexis on the move
The former Barcelona forward appeared to be increasingly unhappy with the Gunners over the past season and a half. He clearly wanted a move away, and there was a sense of inevitability by the end of 2016/17 that he’d would leave in one of the next three windows.
Mourinho is linking up with the player who he’s faced on multiple occasions throughout their time in Spain and England.
Arsène Wenger had previously been adamant that Alexis wouldn’t leave the club. But results, the player’s form, and his unwillingness to sign a new deal seemingly pushed the situation past the point of no return.
Sanchez scored 80 goals and provided 46 assists in his 165 games for Arsenal. This included two cup final goals against Aston Villa in 2015 and Chelsea in 2017. His final trophy haul with the Gunners was two FA Cups and a Community Shield.