Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez, passed by Barcelona, Arsenal or Inter Milan, arrived Tuesday evening in Marseille where he must engage with OM, several hundred supporters of which welcomed him at the airport. According to a source within the club, Sanchez must pass his medical examination on Wednesday morning and then sign his contract with the Marseille club. According to several media, this would be for a period of one year plus a second option. The player should be presented Wednesday afternoon at the Stade Vélodrome.
Sanchez arrived around 9 p.m. at Marseille-Provence airport, where several hundred supporters had gathered from the start of the evening, singing and waving flags. A huge Chilean flag was also unfurled and drums and smoke bombs gave the airport a stadium atmosphere. Wearing a club scarf and a Marseille jersey flocked with his first name “Alexis” and the number 70, the Chilean striker, who has just terminated his contract with Inter Milan, then went to greet the supporters.
OM’s ninth recruit this summer, Sanchez is no longer quite, at 33, the “Niño Maravilla” (“child prodigy”) who enchanted European football in the first half of the 2010s. But his business card looks good, with nearly 250 career goals, 146 caps and two Copa Americas with Chile… where he was led by two former OM coaches, Marcelo Bielsa and Jorge Sampaoli . He also entered the Top 10 of the Ballon d’Or in 2015.
Arrived in Europe in 2008, at Udinese in Italy, Sanchez then shone in Barcelona (47 goals between 2011 and 2014) and especially at Arsenal, where he scored 80 times in four seasons. On the other hand, his move to Manchester United (2017-2019) was missed. The Chilean has relaunched at Inter Milan, which he has therefore just left free, an essential condition for his arrival in Provence. In Lombardy, he had found a real impact and statistics, in a new role of offensive joker.
In Marseille, which will play this season in the Champions League, Sanchez should have more playing time than at Inter, and more responsibilities. This is undoubtedly what seduced him, his Milanese status no longer completely suiting him.