Chelsea and Manchester United should both do each other a big favour and agree on this smart swap deal in the January transfer window.
It’s a long shot and not everyone will love it, but if they could manage it…the two clubs should swap Andreas Christensen and Alexis Sanchez this winter.
Sky Sports have today reported on Christensen, one of the finest young centre-backs in Europe, being unhappy at the amount of playing time he’s been getting at Stamford Bridge.
The 22-year-old looked immense on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach a couple of years ago and did well when being brought into the Chelsea first-team last season, though he’s not kept his place since Maurizio Sarri replaced Antonio Conte.
The Blues don’t really need him, in truth, with David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger forming a fine partnership, and with Sarri, unlike Conte, preferring to play with just two central defenders rather than three.
United, however, are desperately short of that kind of quality at the back, with none of Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones or Marcos Rojo looking good enough as long-term options, while Victor Lindelof has recently improved but could probably do with a more solid and consistent partner next to him.
It’s hard to imagine Christensen couldn’t fit in perfectly at Old Trafford and give Jose Mourinho the signing he craves this winter.
And if the Red Devils release Sanchez as part of the deal, it could also save the club a ton of money on a transfer fee, whilst also getting the Chile international’s big wages off their bill.
The Independent report that United are currently struggling to offload Sanchez due to a lack of suitors, and that’s not too surprising given his woeful form for the club since his move from Arsenal last January.
Still, the 29-year-old was one of the best forward players in the world not so long ago – players rarely lose all that ability that quickly.
It’s perfectly possible that, actually, Sanchez has just been one of many players to go downhill in a dysfunctional Mourinho side, along with Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and arguably the majority of this current MUFC squad.
Sanchez could benefit from a move to a more attack-minded side, with Chelsea under Sarri perhaps a little closer to playing the kind of style of football he thrived under at Arsenal and at Barcelona before that.
The South American can also play a variety of roles where CFC are currently weak, as he’s capable of replacing the goal-shy Alvaro Morata at centre-forward, or replacing the inconsistent and ageing wide-man Willian on the right-hand side of the front three.
Sarri would surely relish being able to bring that kind of goal threat into his side to ease the pressure on Eden Hazard and give the Blues a genuine shot at keeping up the pace with Manchester City and Liverpool at the top.
This potential exchange makes a great deal of sense for everyone involved, and while swap deals are often complicated things, it seems a no-brainer to at least give this operation a go once the transfer window swings open in the new year.