Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hailed Alexis Sanchez as the ultimate professional and admitted that Manchester United have signed a world-class player.
The Chilean forward joined the Reds on a four-and-a-half year deal on Monday, with attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan going the other way in a straight-swap deal.
While Sanchez revealed he simply could not turn down the chance to play for the club, United boss Mourinho hailed him as one of the best attacking players in the world.
Wenger didn’t hesitate to admit Sanchez’s clear quality and didn’t speak bitterly towards the 29-year-old after his move away from Arsenal.
“He’s a very professional player who has been committed until the last minute,” the Frenchman told Arsenal Player.
“In training, he was practising with full power, so I never questioned that. I never had any doubts about that.
“He’s a world-class player who has contributed well to us and was a star here,” Wenger conceded.
It’s pleasing to know that Sanchez’s attitude at his former-club was spot on right until the end. His drive and determination and professionalism is one of his best attributes and will hopefully rub off on the rest of the squad.
Though United have a collection of senior players, the majority of the squad is relatively young. Even key figures like midfielder Paul Pogba and main striker Romelu Lukaku are under the age of 25 while Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw are all 23 and younger.
Sanchez could prove to be the talisman who drags a young United squad to their first real success, even though Mourinho led the Reds to the UEFA Europa League title and EFL Cup last campaign.
Wenger admitted that it was a huge blow to Arsenal to see Sanchez join United.
“He’s very attached to Arsenal & we were very attached to him as well, so it is not with pleasure that we lose him but it’s part of professional life,” he said.