The Summer of 2014 has certainly been a memorable one for young Chile forward Alexis Sanchez. The exciting talent helped his nation reach the round of 16 of this year's World Cup, in which he scored twice for his country in total. This - among the many chances he created - attracted interest from some of the World's greatest clubs; specifically Arsenal and Liverpool of the Premier League. A move to Liverpool seemed imminent according to the English press; so what swayed the Barcelona forward into choosing the red-side of North London over the rehabilitated Liverpool?
Reason 1: Arsene Wenger
French manager Wenger has been Arsenal's main selling point in attracting players during the latter stages of his 17 year reign over the Gunners, and Sanchez is no exemption. Arsene Wenger is reported to have phoned the Barcelona winger and spoken to him in Spanish to tell him about future plans for the club and what life in London is like. This is similar to the phone-call Wenger is also reportedly to have held with last Summer's signing Mesut Ozil. A personal touch followed by Wenger's extremely successful history as a manager would have surely put him ahead of Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers in Sanchez's mind.
Reason 2: Location
Despite only being 25-years of age, Arsenal's new number 17 must have taken into consideration the life of living in London compared to Liverpool for his future family's sake. Both cities are renowned around the world, however, with London having the better attractions, housing and schooling, it seems like a no-brainer. Liverpool however, is still a respected city and modern area but nothing seems to beat the capital.
Reason 3: Style of Play
Being a Barcelona player whilst making his decision over which team to join, Arsenal's similarity in playing style to Barcelona's might just have been the tipping point. The Gunners operate a 'tiki-taka' system like the Catalans which not only would make Sanchez fit in quicker to his new club and with his new teammates but, also see him score and assist more throughout his debut season. Furthermore, with the sale of Suarez and the ageing of Kop hero Steven Gerrard, quick pass-and-move football seems less likely to come from a red shirt in Anfield. Instead, Rodgers' men prefer a more direct approach including the utilization in the pace of young talents Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge. Both methods are successful for their respective clubs, but for the benefit of Sanchez adjusting to the Premier League quicker and being a success, Arsenal's seemed the more favorable .
Reason 4: Recommendations
Former Arsenal captain and Barcelona teammate of Sanche, Francesc Fabegras is reported to have 'convinced' his former teammate to join the Gunners. Fabregas - despite being turned down by his former club Arsenal earlier this Summer - apparently told Sanchez about the 'family feel' Arsenal has to it and how he would succeed more-so at Arsenal than Juventus or Liverpool.
Hearing this from a former teammate who now plays for Local rivals Chelsea must certainly have been mind-blowing for the attacking-midfielder to comprehend, however, this may have made all the difference. No encouragement to join Liverpool seemed to have been put-forward whilst Fabregas promoted his former club. (Jose must not have been happy when he found out!)
These are just a few of the reasons as to why Sanchez may have chosen to represent Arsenal over Liverpool next campaign. Others may include the club's consistency in achieving Champions League football, the success of other players who have made the switch from La Liga and also the fact that Liverpool would be losing their key player. Never-the-less, the Chile winger - who can also play upfront - has officially joined Wenger's side, which, in what will only become apparent in the upcoming years, may have been the most crucial decision he ever made.