Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has shared his honest opinion on the club’s ‘bad business’ after Alexis Sanchez joined Manchester United in a swap deal involving Henrikh Mkkhitaryan.
The 29-year-old Chilean forward joined the Gunners from Barcelona in 2014 and quickly earned a reputation as one of the Premier League’s finest players.
Mkhitaryan joined the Red Devils from Borussia Dortmund in 2016 but failed to ever truly convince Jose Mourinho of his undoubted talent – he’s started just one Premier League game since November 5.
“We lose a world-class player and we gain a world-class player,” Arsene Wenger said about the swap.
“Mkhitaryan has the qualities to integrate into our game and that is based a lot on movement and technical quality. I think he has the attributes, a good team attitude as well and I’m confident that it will work.
“He can play in all kinds of positions — on the flanks and he can play through the middle as well. I think he’s very versatile and it should help us to be very efficient going forward.”
Mkhitaryan is set to make his debut for the Gunners against Swansea City on Tuesday night.
Wright says Sanchez deal was ‘terrible business’
Whilst plenty of Arsenal fans are happy with the Mkhitaryan swap-deal, the 54-year-old pundit criticised the club’s decision to keep Sanchez until January.
“It’s terrible business from Arsenal, they should have let Sanchez go last summer, collected the money and went from there,” Wright said on The Debate.
“It’s bad business letting Sanchez leave as they have done but the Mkhitaryan deal is the best of a bad situation.”
Wright makes an excellent point – his value was bound to hugely decrease and Arsenal could’ve got a much better deal six months ago.
Manchester City were reportedly offering over £60m for Sanchez at the end of August – but the plug was pulled on the deal by Arsenal on transfer deadline day.
The Chilean forward, who was clearly desperate to leave Arsenal, struggled to find form in the first half of the 2017/18 campaign.
Wright backs Mkhitaryan to thrive
Despite criticising Arsenal’s behaviour in the transfer market, Wright is backing the 29-year-old midfielder to show his quality in north London.
“Mkhitaryan is a top player,” added Wright. “I don’t think we saw the best of him at Manchester United but I do believe Arsenal have got a good player.
“He’s still trying to find his feet in England but I’ve seen enough of him when he has played to know he has quality.
“We know Jose Mourinho can get the hump with some players but I hope he can come to Arsenal, a much friendlier environment in terms of management and players, and hopefully he can thrive.”