Wednesday August 21 2019
Sanchez a steal for Inter

Inter's deal with Manchester United for Alexis Sanchez is zero-risk and with potentially massive benefits, writes Football Italia Chief Correspondent Richard Hall.

"Alexis Sanchez to Inter is a gamble that both parties could win comfortably.” These were the words of Udinese legend and former team-mate of Alexis Sanchez, Antonio Di Natale. The former Azzurri hitman had a point, when you analyse the terms that will see the Chilean arrive in Milan, one has to think it is a steal. The agreement is a risk-free one for Antonio Conte and could, in turn, see the rebirth of a superlative talent that could light up Serie A.

The deal is reportedly a free loan with an option to buy at the end of the campaign for around €12-15m. The more baffling part is that the Nerazzurri will only pay for €4m of his salary. When he earns approximately €14m, this seems ludicrous, as his parent club will be funding the rest. If this punt was on, it’d count as a free bet. Inter are certainly not one to look this particular gift horse in the mouth and it is believed that if they triggered the move at the end of the campaign, his new wage would be €6.5m.

Admittedly his time at the Premier League club was not a successful one, but this was largely down to tiredness and injuries. The very physical nature of the English game probably didn’t suit his talents either and the hefty price-tag put undue pressure on him in a fairly dysfunctional team.

Antonio Conte is a man who could get the best out of Alexis. It was no secret that, like Romelu Lukaku, Sanchez was a man who Conte wanted when at Juventus. His work ethic and his ability to follow instruction were exactly what the Coach looks for and his natural talent in front of goal is without question.

His ability to excel in a 3-5-2 was clear at Udinese and it will be a chance for him to play with a strike partner, which will mean that he can be provider or goal-scorer. His movement would complement that of Lautaro Martinez, who also has an ability to play off the defender’s shoulder, whilst his strong rapport with Lukaku already exists both on and off the field.

There is the question of his fitness. The throwback to this is whether he would even start, as Lautaro Martinez and Lukaku are the younger and more promising partnership. At Inter he will have the opportunity, if needed, to get back to fitness in his own time and slowly integrate into the squad. It’s precious respite for a man who has played every summer with his national team it seems since time began. Alexis may initially take up a new role, coming off the bench when his team are struggling. He is certainly able to turn a game on his own, just ask Arsene Wenger.

There will be nay-sayers, those who think that he no longer has the fitness, the mentality or even the ability, but what have Inter got to lose? He is free, they pay little towards his wages and he doesn’t need to start.

This season is a test to see if he can recapture some of his best form in a league he enjoys and has proved himself in before. He is also not being asked to carry the team like at Arsenal, or in fact be the big money signing with all the expectation like in Manchester. Instead Sanchez is asked to be an icing on the cake, work hard and play his part.

Things didn’t work for Alexis in Manchester, but he will see this as a huge opportunity to prove to himself and others that his career is still somewhere near its peak. It is the battle Sanchez will have with himself that will be of benefit to Inter. If it fails, the Nerazzurri lose little, if it succeeds then they have a steal.

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Have your say...
well he is our new recoba here. im seeing him in bit of every position in the forward line. as everybody declaring inter a pasturing new; a calibre of sanchez wont do any harm. remember man city at first? collecting all sort of superstars!. conte needs to do all sorda trick that woud fit him. SAY AINT THAT RIGH??
on the 22nd August, 2019 at 9:22am
A lot of you are forgetting how well Sanchez recently played at the Copa America - arguably the best forward there. He also did extremely well for united at the beginning of last season when he was played as a striker - he then got moved back to the wing and never recovered. He doesn't run as much as he used to, but he is still has it and anyone who thinks turning 30 means you lose it obviously doesn't watch too much football. With the deal inter getting, this could be the transfer of the season
on the 22nd August, 2019 at 12:27am
Amazing how some players just sharply decline in quality and performances in a blink of the eye. Ronaldinho was unplayable until cl final 2006 where he was horrendous and from then on was never the same player. Sheva just declined rapidly from 2006 wc and was never the same. Torres downed tools at Liverpool and was never the same. Kaka went the same way as Sheva after joining RM. Then Sanchez just went from a top class player to utter rubbish in 2 seasons. Not sure he will ever recover top form.
on the 21st August, 2019 at 9:57pm
He isn't the same player he used to be even during his last 6 months at arsenal he was showing real signs of decline you look at his stats his goal scoring ratio declined he scored in the epl 7 goals in 19 games compared to the previous full season of 24 goals in 38 games. Not to mention his injury issues during his late arsenal career and early utd career. Either he is going to be a really expensive bench player or 30 year first team player blocking the youngster from game time.
on the 21st August, 2019 at 7:41pm
@ I MISS MARCO BRANCA, get a life dude... parroting the same stuff for a decade. Anyway, if we get anything close to the Sanchez from Arsenal and the Lukaku from Everton we'll be a force, and with this coach and these tactics that is entirely possible.
on the 21st August, 2019 at 6:46pm
Sanchez is a player who plays with a high tempo and presses, after 3 consecutive summers of representing Chile and with no break, he became burnt out. I feel this is a very good move for Inter as at worst they get a low cost option for rotation who they dont have to commit to and at best they get one of the worlds upper echelon of players. Very smart move by the cousins.

Also, we all know about the Conte effect, the man could turn a cone into a viable midfield option.
on the 21st August, 2019 at 5:57pm
Inter has had alot of awful strikers like Zarate, Castaignos, Belfodil, Gabi-One-Gol but Sanchez will be Forlan 2.0 this season. After reading that list of players, damn I MISS MARCO BRANCA !
on the 21st August, 2019 at 4:58pm
Your article is ridiculous! He did very well at Arsenal even though they bought him higher than his sale to united! ManU is a very negative club and your article should be removed from this website! Its a disgrace for football italia
on the 21st August, 2019 at 4:07pm
I have to disagree. A guy known for not being the best teammate either on the pitch and outside, who has had two awful seasons... yes, he comes basically for nothing but a 5m salary, but he is way past his prime, a shell from his former self. I dont understand how Inter kicks out Perisic for this has been guy
on the 21st August, 2019 at 4:02pm
This guy looks like he retired 3 years ago so Inter signing him doesn't reflect well on the state of who Serie A can attract

But, provided he's only on loan, then Inter hold the advantage over United and if he's terrible, they can send him and his astronomical wages back to the epl

It's hard to see why Conte would want someone whose attitude was once great but now looks shot to pieces. Does Sanchez even care anymore?

And will he keep Martinez out of the side - someone who deserves a go
on the 21st August, 2019 at 3:13pm
I remember thinking Sanchez was one of the absolute best strikers around during the 2015 Copa America. Kinda hard to believe he is where is currently is. I think Conte can get the best out of him, and would add depth to Inter's bench, but what will happen with Icardi if Sanchez arrives?
on the 21st August, 2019 at 2:44pm
He'll start a ton of games.

He'll have to because Latuaro and Lukaku are both out-and-out centre-forwards. No coach on the planet plays with two of those except Giampaolo. Both players are at their best in the penalty area getting on the end of crosses. They will just get in each other's way.

The idea that Latauro is a trequartista or winger is just absolutely crackers and has nothing to do with reality.
on the 21st August, 2019 at 1:12pm
Ed Woodward read your article and changed his mind. These were the terms Man Utd offered for Roma, but Alexis rejected that destination. Marotta offered the same, but when Inter is asking, everyone is trying to milk... As long as it`s not an obligation, I`m fine with this deal. Don`t worry about fitness, Inter transferred fitness master Pintus from Real Madrid this summer. Alexis should find his passion of playing again and could turn out to be like Tevez for Conte after Man City.
on the 21st August, 2019 at 12:54pm
The very physical nature of the English game probably didn’t suit his talents..Wasn't he playing in the same English game when he was at Arsenal?
on the 21st August, 2019 at 12:31pm
It's definitely not a question of the premier league not suiting him. He was a beast at Arsenal, putting up elite numbers and performances. I think he is geniounely fatigued after back to back to back international commitments every summer. If the numbers are all correct, I think it will be a good move overall.
on the 21st August, 2019 at 11:31am
"His work ethic and his ability to follow instruction were exactly what the Coach looks" - most of MU fans will disagree. Still we all know, how good Alexis was few seasons before.
on the 21st August, 2019 at 10:38am

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