We paid £28m too much for Alexis Sanchez according to the man who first brought the Chilean to Europe, who claims he could have been ours for just £2m in 2006 if we had merely shown faith in him, as reported by the Sun.
Udinese president Giampaolo Pozzo revealed that a number of top European clubs were monitoring our super summer signing back in his Cobreloa days, but none were willing to take a risk on him. The Serie A side took a gamble when they brought him to Italy for £2m, but after a couple of loan spells he returned to the club and was an instant hit.
“The big clubs, not just English, had sensed the deal but we were good at getting the player first when he was not yet known,” said Pozzo.
“He wanted to sign for us because firstly, he wanted to come to Europe and then because we were the first to believe in him.
“Our scouts in South America saw his unquestionable technical qualities. But, from when we started following him, he also had a personality that was out of the ordinary for a boy of that age.”
Sanchez has been exceptional in his first six months at the club, and has adapted to the Premier League superbly. With players nowadays often commanding fees far greater than the one we paid, a player of his quality looks to be a bargain to me.
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Arsene Wenger may be kicking himself when he thinks about how much he could have saved, but I personally believe we have secured our star man at the perfect time. At 26-years-old he is really hitting his prime, and his experience at a club like Barcelona will only serve to help us.
The free-scoring forward has spent time at a number of clubs at varying levels, and so is unlikely to have his head turned or be spending his time wondering what life would be like at another club.
He has all the attributes to succeed in the Premier League, and could easily go down as an Arsenal legend if he continues in this current vein of form.