Players of the calibre of Alexis Sanchez do not become available very often so Manchester United had no choice but to make a move for the Arsenal forward, former Ireland defender Denis Irwin has said ahead of the Chilean’s expected move to Old Trafford.
The 29-year-old Sanchez, who is out of contract at the end of the season and was also a target for leaders Manchester City, missed Arsenal’s 4-1 league win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
British media reports say he will seal his move to United this week with Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan joining Arsenal in a swap deal.
“When a player of that ability comes along, I think you got to be in the market for him,” Irwin, who played over 500 games for United during 12 trophy-laden seasons, told Reuters.
He’s a player who knows the Premier League, his goal record … he’s an experienced international. He’s quick, he’s strong.
“It would be great if he comes to Manchester United because he would not just add to our squad but our team. He’s a really good player and I think he will be a good addition, really good.”
The Chile international has scored 80 goals in 166 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal since joining from Barcelona for 35 million pounds ($48.52 million) in July 2014.
The 52-year-old Irwin, now working a United ambassador, was speaking in Mumbai as part of Gulf Oil’s fan-building campaign for the club’s supporters, who were invited to a live screening of the Premier League away fixture against Burnley on Saturday.