Arsenal and Manchester United will renew their fierce rivalry this week as the Gunners travel to Old Trafford for what will be a pretty meaningless affair for both the sides. A win for Man United will all but secure their 2nd position on the points table, while the same result for Arsenal will not make much difference to their league standing, in fact, their focus is more likely to be on next Thursday when they travel to Madrid to face Atletico Madrid for Europa League semi-final second leg. This match will have a lot of sub-plots added to it, none bigger than Jose Mourinho taking on Arsene Wenger for one final time. The two of them have had a strained relationship as competitors and there is no doubt that the Portuguese will be eager to send the Frenchman off with yet another defeat in what will be a thrilling football match.
Another big story from the game will be Alexis Sanchez, who sealed a very unpopular move to Manchester United in January this year after months of speculation. He will be eager to show the fans at Arsenal that his move to Man United was the correct one and not a mistake like many in North London feel. With so many sub-plots to look forward too, we can’t wait for the kick-off on Sunday at Old Trafford. In this article, we look at 5 players who have played for both Arsenal and Manchester United and yes Alexis Sanchez is included.
The current assistant manager at Manchester City started his career against his current employer’s city rivals Manchester United, where he made 203 appearances scoring 52 goals in the process. After Man United were relegated to the lower division in 1974, Kidd decided to move to Arsenal. He finished the first season with the Gunners as the club highest goal-scorer netting 19 goals in 40 appearances. In his 90 appearances for the North London club, Kidd scored 34 goals including a hat-trick against West Ham United. He was ultimately sold to Manchester City in 1976 for a fee of £100,000. He was a fabulous player, who never got his fair share of credit even though he had a career span of over 15 years.
Robin Van Persie
Having just won one FA Cup during his 8 years at Arsenal, in 2012 Robin Van Persie decided that with time running out on his career, he needed to make a change in his surroundings. In 2012, Arsenal announced that club captain Van Persie will be moving to Manchester United in a deal worth £22.5 million. Coming off a brilliant season with Arsenal, Van Persie single-handedly took Man United to the EPL title in the 2012-2013 season, scoring a whopping 26 goals and winning his second consecutive English Premier League Golden Boot award. After giving Sir Alex Ferguson the perfect send-off the Dutch striker was once again plagued with injury issues in the next two seasons and finally, in 2015, the Red Devils under Louis Van Gaal decided to allow Van Persie to join Turkish club Fenerbahçe for an undisclosed fee.
In his 194 appearances for Arsenal, Van Persie scored 96 goals and at Manchester United, he made 86 appearances scoring 48 goals.
With some of the world’s best striker featuring for Manchester United over the past decade, Danny Welbeck never quite got the game time that his talented warranted, which is why after scoring 20 goals in 92 appearances, the English international decided to join Arsenal in the summer of 2014 for a £16 fee. Since joining Arsenal, Welbeck has had to deal with a lot of injury issues but he has managed to make over 80 appearances for the Gunners in which he has scored 26 goals. In his very season with Arsenal, Welbeck scored 8 goals and looked extremely threatening for the opposition when he was fully fit.
Welbeck has a lot of critics jumping on his back as soon as he has bad performance but there is no doubt that there is immense potential in the striker, who was highly rated by English fans during his time with Manchester United. In the ongoing 2017-2018 season, the 27-year-old has managed to get on the score sheet 16 times.
After having won almost all trophies possible during his 3 years stint with Barcelona, Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez decided to join Arsenal in a deal worth £31.7 million in 2014 and soon became a fan favourite with his all-energetic game style. He won the FA Cup twice with Arsenal in 2014-2015 and 2016-2017, a tournament that he is on the cusp of winning again but this time with Manchester United. He scored in both the FA Cup Finals and finished every season with Arsenal in double figures in both goals and assists. However, after months of speculation regarding his move away from the Emirates due to what he felt was a lack of direction from the clubs management, Sanchez decided to follow in the footsteps of Van Persie and join Manchester United back in January this year in a swap deal that included Henrikh Mkhitaryan going the other way.
During his 3 years with Arsenal, Sanchez scored 60 goals in 122 appearances and although he has just scored 3 goals in 14 appearances for the Red Devils till now, there is no doubt that Manchester United have got a real world class player on their hands, someone who can drive them to the title next year if fully fit.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan made his reputation as one of the best midfielders in Europe playing for Borussia Dortmund, where he made 90 appearances and scored 23 goals along with numerous assists between 2013 to 2016. In the summer of 2016, Mkhitaryan decided to join Manchester United in a deal worth £30 million. During his 39 appearances for the Man United, Mkhitaryan only scored 5 goals, which also included a goal in the Europa League Final in 2017. In all, he won the League Cup, the Community Shield and the Europa League with the Manchester club before joining Arsenal in January this year as part of the swap deal which saw Sanchez move the other way.
Currently injured and out for the season, Mkhitaryan has made an excellent start to his Arsenal career scoring 2 goals and giving 6 assists. He is an immensely skilful player with an ability to pick out passes from anywhere on the pitch. Many people are looking forward to his partnership with Ozil and Aubameyang next season with Arsenal.
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