Alexis Sanchez will make his Manchester United debut on Friday after being named in the Premier League giants’ starting line-up for their FA Cup fourth-round tie away to lower league Yeovil Town.
The team posted on United’s official Twitter feed showed Sanchez in the side just days after he completed a move from Premier League rivals Arsenal on Monday that will reportedly make him the highest-paid earner in English football’s top flight, with a weekly wage of some £500,000 ($ 710,000; 571,000 euros).
Earlier on Friday, Sanchez, 29, found his name attached to a doping row following reports he had missed a routine drugs test that, coincidentally, was scheduled on the day of his move from the Emirates to Old Trafford.
But Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insisted Friday that any blame for a missed test lay with the Gunners and not Sanchez himself, given it appears he was still technically a registered player with the London giants when any possible infraction of anti-doping rules took place.
“It is just a bad day for him to be tested,” Wenger said. “Honestly, on the administration side it would still be our responsibility because he had not moved.”
The veteran French manager added: “The most important is the intentions are right. The intention of Alexis was certainly not to hide, nor was our intention to hide anything. We have nothing to hide.”
Premier League leaders Manchester City had been linked with a transfer window move for Sanchez but baulked at an estimated Arsenal asking price of £35 million, as well as the Chile forward’s wage demands.
That opened the door to United completing a swap move, with midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan joining Arsenal in exchange for Sanchez.