Cast your mind back to 15 January 2018.
Manchester City - who looked certain to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal - revealed they had pulled out of the deal.
Sanchez had just six months remaining on his contract at the Emirates and was, therefore, demanding astronomical wages.
City were simply unwilling to cough up because they feared it would upset the likes of David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero - who would have been earning a lot less than Sanchez.
But rivals Manchester United didn’t turn down the opportunity to sign the Chilean and were happy to pay £391,000-per-week with an extra £75,000 for every match he starts. Not to mention the annual £1.1m signing-on fee.
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We all know what happened next. Sanchez scored five goals in 45 appearances and has now been shipped out to Inter Milan on loan.
But what would have happened if Sanchez had joined City?
Well, that question was recently put to Daniel Storey on The Totally Football Show podcast.
And he examined everything that would have happened if Sanchez had joined Pep at the Etihad.
Here’s what he thinks could’ve happened:
“City go on to win the league that season that’s undoubted,” he began.
“They were far enough clear. Sanchez was signed essentially for the Champions League but I’m not sure he would have made a difference in the fairly emphatic defeat to Liverpool. So City’s season stays at it is.
“I would suggest maybe that City don’t win the league last season - that Liverpool do. The reason Liverpool do is because the Sanchez signing at the time come off the back of some pretty significant doubts over Sergio Aguero’s ability to adapt to Pep Guardiola’s football.
"Sanchez would either play as a left-sided forward and therefore Raheem Sterling’s place will suffer or as a central striker, which he’d been doing at Arsenal for a bit and Sergio Aguero’s place might suffer and they were two brilliant cogs in City’s machine last season. So I think it’s fair to say that wouldn’t have happened [City win the league].
“The knockout effects are Riyad Mahrez certainly doesn’t go to City because they are hamstrung by those wages and Guardiola’s even said it would have damaged them if they had signed Sanchez for that money. Also, he’s said that Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling would have kicked up a fuss for their new deals and the sort of money they would have wanted. Certainly I think Leroy Sane will probably have been sold to make up for that shortfall.
“Yeah, I think he would have weakened Manchester City. I think Guardiola has said that and that’s probably true. This idea that Sanchez was a flop at Man Utd and would have been brilliant at Man City I don’t really buy into because he looked, during that half-season at Arsenal, like he’d played too much football and I think that was the case.
“Arsenal would’ve bought Riyad Mahrez from Leicester because he wouldn’t have gone to City.
“The more interesting thing is at Man Utd because I think if they finish second and Mourinho is allowed to spend the money they spent on Sanchez on a centre-back that he wanted - potentially Virgil van Dijk or Harry Maguire a year earlier and then bought a wide player he wanted. I think they would’ve finished in the top four and Mourinho, very feasibly, could still be Man Utd manager.”
So, Liverpool win the Premier League. Arsenal sign Mahrez, United sign Van Dijk and Mourinho is still the manager at Old Trafford.
It could’ve been oh so different.News Now - Sport News