4th Sep, 2020 @ 10:08 am
Alexis Sanchez wanted to leave Manchester United following his first training session after an agreement with Manchester City failed to come to fruition.
City were expected to sign Sanchez in January 2018 but he ended up joining their rivals United from Arsenal in a swap deal that sent Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the opposite direction.
The Chile international, who was reportedly being paid £390,000 per week, failed to find the form he displayed at Arsenal, where he had become one of the Premier League’s leading attackers.
He scored just five goals in 45 appearances in all competitions before spending the 2019-20 season on loan at Inter, who signed him permanently last month.
Injuries also limited Sanchez’s impact at United, but he confirmed City had been his first choice and he did not feel comfortable with the Red Devils from the start.
“I want to tell you about my period at United, about many things that have been said which made me look bad,” Sanchez said in a video posted on his official Instagram account.
“Before going there, I had an agreement with Manchester City but it didn’t work out and I got the chance to join Manchester United. It was something nice for me, as a kid I liked the club a lot. Eventually I signed but I didn’t ask for information on what was happening inside the club
“Sometimes there are things that you don’t realise until you get there, and I remember the first training session I had, I realised a lot of things.
“After the session I got home and I said to my family and my agent, ‘Can you not rip up the contract to go back to Arsenal?’ They laughed, I told them ‘There’s something that doesn’t sit right, it doesn’t seem good.’
“But I already signed, I was already there. After the first few months I carried on having the same feeling, we weren’t united as a team in that moment.”
Sanchez felt he was often unfairly targeted as the team struggled in his first full season with team, which saw United slip from a runners-up finish in 2017-18 to sixth place.
“I’m telling you my experience, the journalists at times would speak without knowing the facts and it hurt, they had no idea what was going on inside the club,” he said.
“They said it was my fault, and this, and that, but sometimes a player depends on the environment, the family that is created around him, and I think that in that moment we weren’t really a family.
“And that translated onto the pitch, and since there needed to be someone to blame, they blamed me.”
Sanchez felt a pivotal moment in his United career came when he was left out of the matchday squad by Jose Mourinho for a trip to West Ham in September 2018, a game that ended in a 3-1 loss at London Stadium.
“I remember a game against West Ham, I wasn’t picked and that never happened during my career,” he added.
“That changed a lot, it really bothered me and that day I told myself that it couldn’t be possible to go from one of the best players in the Premier League to that in the space of five months.
“That bothered me a little, I got home and I was very sad for what happened, the next day I put in a double training session – as I’ve always been, I demand the best from myself in my job, I love what I do, I like football a lot.”