Facing Alexis Sanchez will be ‘strange’, says Wenger

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The Chile star will come up against his former club for the first time since losing in January, and even the Frenchman admits it will be unusual

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says that it will be a “strange” experience coming up against Alexis Sanchez on Sunday.

The Chile international left the Emirates Stadium in January after three-and-a-half years at the club, and is expected to line out for Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United at Old Trafford.

It is not a situation that the Frenchman is relishing, given the importance of the former Barcelona player to his side for the duration of his stay in north London.

“It's strange for me to see him in a different shirt because he had a strong bond with the club and of course he was here for a few years,” Wenger told the club’s official website. “He did extremely well for us.

“The only thing that has not changed is the colour, that’s still red.”

Wenger’s hand was forced into parting company with the attacker in January, as Alexis was standing firm on allowing his contract to expire at the end of the season. 

The veteran boss, though, feels that the Gunners maximised the situation by taking Henrikh Mkhitaryan in exchange.

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“At the time, he didn’t accept our contract offer and the best possible way where we could get something for his departure was to make an exchange for a player of the quality of Mkhitaryan,” he said.

“For him, it was a move to another big club. Both parties had interest to do what happened.”

The 29-year-old has scored three goals for United, chalking up four assists in the process.