Alexis Sanchez returns to Italy, the country where he made his name and took the world by storm.
He has signed for Inter on loan from Manchester United and joins Antonio Conte’s side in their quest to challenge for the title.
He does not join as a world-beater, a huge signing that has terrorized defences at his previous club but as a man in search of redemption. He was signed as a gamble with the club hoping he regains his past form.
But how did he get here? What led to the decline of Alexis Sanchez?
Well, in large parts, it was a downhill slide of his own making.
He burst onto the European scene as a 19-year-old with blistering pace and an eye for goal with Udinese in Italy.
His second season was particularly impressive as he scored 12 goals and assisted six times in 31 games.
It was after that campaign that Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona came calling for his services and he answered by signing for the then Europan Champions ahead of the 2011/12 season.
In his time at the Nou Camp, he won six major titles including a Copa Del Rey and a La Liga title.
His final season in Spain was his best as he scored 19 goals and provided 10 assists in the League for Barca but he was unhappy he was moved to the right flank upon the arrival of Neymar that season.
It was then time for him to move on and his next destination was the Premier League with Arsenal where he was an instant hit.
Arsenal fans loved him not just for his talent but also for his hard graft and hard work when their team is out of possession. He was a fan favourite.
In his time at Arsenal, he constantly improved and his numbers got better as the seasons went on then he had an explosive 2016/2017.
He scored 24 times and provided 10 assists in a very strong season for the Gunners.
He also helped them to win the FA Cup in two of his first three seasons at the club as well.
It was a beautiful marriage and nothing seemed to go wrong until his final season.
It was his fourth year at Arsenal, the final year of his contract at the Club and all of a sudden, Sanchez’s attitude changed.
To everyone’s surprise, became a contract rebel and refused new offers to extend his stay at the Emirates.
On the pitch, there was none of the hard grafting fans loved about the Chilean. When he lost the ball, he was unwilling to chase back to get it like he usually does.
When his teammates scored, he did not celebrate with them and vice versa.
When he was subbed off during some games, he seemed to be laughing after be played badly and he became a toxic figure in the dressing room.
It simply looked like he felt he had achieved all he possibly could at the club and needed to leave.
It was clear that what was the perfect marriage was heading towards a rocky divorce.
In January, it was a battle of the Manchester clubs for the Arsenal man’s signature and the red half were victorious.
They sent Henrikh Mkhitaryan the other way and got Alexis Sanchez in return and who can ever forget that club promo introducing Sanchez? I certainly won’t.
Alexis Sanchez's best moment in a Manchester United shirt. ? pic.twitter.com/qGa4tprcnV
— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) August 28, 2019
United supporters were happy. They beat their rivals to a proven world-class talent in Sanchez. They also took him away from one of their top rivals Arsenal so they could have no complaints.
All they had to do was sit back, relax and enjoy the Sanchez show. It was more like the Sanchez horror show.
A horror show best describes Sanchez’s career at Man United. He scored only twice in 12 appearances that season and was poor throughout.
He had arrived at a ‘bigger’ club with ‘bigger’ expectations than Arsenal.
Though they were remotely in a title race with City and finished behind them that season, they were not from a far better team than Arsenal. The gap wasn’t that much.
The following year they ended the season finishing below Arsenal on the table and his contribution was abysmal.
He scored only one goal in 20 appearances for United and it was really baffling as well as sad how far the mighty Alexis Sanchez had fallen.
Now he has moved on to Italy, a country he made his name and a country that still believes in his talent.
Now 30, he won’t get more chances to play for clubs of this size in the future so something needs to change.
Maybe this may be his revival but if it isn’t, it will just be another chapter in the story of the downward spiral of Alexis Sanchez