Manchester United should be seen as the winners of the Alexis Sanchez-Henrikh Mkhitaryan swap deal that is set to be announced in the next two days.
Chilean international Sanchez will sign for Man United on Monday or Tuesday after undergoing a medical at the club’s Carrington Aon Training Complex on Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Armenian attacking midfielder Mkhitaryan will go the other day in a rare player-swap deal between two major clubs. Both will reportedly become their new respective clubs’ best-paid players.
No transfer fee will be exchanged, according to the BBC’s David Ornstein, and questions have been raised over which club is getting the better deal.
“Manchester United get the best deal out of that,” Lampard claimed on BT Sport.
“No disrespect to Mkhitaryan because we have only seen glimpses but in terms of Arsenal, is he what Arsenal needs? Really?
“I’m not sure. He’s part of the deal but is he what they need in terms of going forward?”
Both clubs benefit, there is little doubt about that. Arsenal, for their part, are getting a fantastic player who could flourish at the Emirates in the way he did at Borussia Dortmund but failed to do so at Old Trafford. That’s in return for a layer who was always going to leave in five months time, and was likely to leave this month anyway.
United, meanwhile, are signing a world-class player without having to pay a transfer fee. It’s a player who was drawing interest from local title rivals Manchester City and Chelsea, with the former close to making Sanchez their most expensive ever player in a deal that fell through last summer.
In the process, they are weakening another rival in Arsenal. United come out on top, given Mkhitaryan has been out of form for a few months now and has never found the right consistency at the club.
Arsenal valued Sanchez at £35m with six months left on his contract. Mkhitaryan has more time left on his deal at United, but the Reds did well to effectively value the Armenian at the same price given he’s 29 and hasn’t proven himself in the Premier League.