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Why piano man Sanchez changed his tune

OPINION: Musical climax to transfer saga was so comical that it almost made everything OK – but what really made former Arsenal striker choose Man United?

25 January, 2018 — By Richard Osley

Alexis Sanchez

IMAGINE if we could somehow sneak into Old Trafford, up the stairs and into the giffing communications unit. There we could locate the waste paper basket, unscrunch some snowballs and see what ideas didn’t make the cut for Manchester United’s film announcing Alexis Sanchez had finally – finally – agreed to sign for them…

1. Alexis is brought into Manchester on a sleigh pulled by his famous pet dogs. Crossed out, cruel on the animals.

Or 2. Alexis looks out of the window and sees aeroplanes taking the globe’s best players to the World Cup. Sad face. But then he decides to take a private jet to rainy Manchester. Happy face. Rejected, this concept highlights the World Cup failure thing.

Maybe 3. The Manchester players are trying different chilis (like Chile) for hotness and in walks Alexis Sanchez dressed as a Scotch Bonnet. Jesse Lingard yells “SQQQQUUUAAAD” and dances. Rejected, he’ll look like he’s going to the darts.

In the end United had him all over your social media, with something equally silly: Sanchez standing there, looking glassy-eyed at the stadium and playing what sounded like Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur on a piano. Plink, plonk.


I suppose if you are going to pay the gentleman £500,000 a week (and expect him to leave a team which plays at a Wembley final EVERY year), it’s only fair to ask him to provide the music.

This attempt to find a unique way of closing the suspense of a transfer saga we all knew the ending to a week ago was so comical it almost made everything OK.

Then almost immediately followed the prime parody of Sanchez quoting every single other footballer who has made a move to earn more money.

“Since I was a boy, I’ve always said my dream was to play for Manchester,” he told the United TV channel, and before anyone could stroke out a chinny-reckon or smell the air for the scent of burning underwear, he pleaded for good measure: “I’m not saying that because I’m here now, I always said as a kid that I’d like to play for United.”

OK, we’ll believe him, that this whole episode, despite the leg waved at the salivating Pep Guardiola and Manchester City, is all simply based on the boyhood dream of playing for United. And not – no way – influenced in any way, no, not at all, absolutely not, that United were willing to supply the most lucrative pay packet ever known to a Premier League footballer – a factor which we must digest purely as coincidence.

No, it’s definitely the one about the dream.

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