Alexis Sanchez says he asked his agent if he could leave Manchester United and return to Arsenal after the very first training session.
Sanchez joined United from Arsenal in 2018 and scored just five goals in 45 appearances in a turbulent period at Old Trafford before moving to Inter Milan for the 2019/20 season.
The Chile international took to Instagram on Thursday night to open up about his high-profile transfer from the Gunners, which saw him become United’s highest-paid player, and reveals he regretted joining the Manchester club as soon as he got there.
He said: “I accepted the opportunity to go to United, it felt tempting and it was something good for me, I liked this club a lot when I was a kid.
“Eventually I signed but I didn’t ask for information on what was happening inside the club.
“Sometimes there are things that you don’t realise until you get there, and I remember the first training session I had, I realised a lot of things.
“AFTER THE SESSION I GOT HOME AND I TOLD MY FAMILY AND MY AGENT ‘CAN YOU NOT RIP UP THE CONTRACT TO GO BACK TO ARSENAL?’.
“They laughed, I told them there’s something that doesn’t sit right, it doesn’t seem good.
“But I already signed, I was already there. After the first few months I carried on having the same feeling, we weren’t united as a team in that moment.”
— Pato Figueroa (@patopeloteros) September 3, 2020
Sanchez recalled how he was left out of a matchday squad by Jose Mourinho, who was United manager at the time, against West Ham in September 2018.
“In a game with West Ham I wasn’t picked,” he added. “That had never happened to me as a player. It bothered me and I said it couldn’t be possible.
“To go from being one of the best in the Premier League to not playing in five months. I came to my house and I was very sad. The next day I trained in a double shift, because I love what I do.”
Sanchez ended the video by thanking United even though his time there did not work out.
He said: “I only have words of thanks to United for giving me the opportunity to defend the shirt. It bothered me that things did not go the way I wanted.
“If the atmosphere had been more positive, it would have turned out differently. I tell it all now because I have already passed a period of learning as a player and a person. I would have liked to win everything.”