Manchester City lost two transfer targets – Alexis Sanchez and Fred – to city rivals Manchester United in consecutive transfer windows, and while manager Pep Guardiola might have initially felt hard done by with the misses, he will most likely be glad that both deals fell through from the look of things right now.
The Chilean has become a shadow of his former self since leaving Arsenal for Old Trafford a year ago, scoring just thrice in 28 league appearances, while the Brazilian, who City saw as a perfect cover for Fernandinho is taking forever to adjust to the English top-flight since switching Shakhtar Donetsk for the Red Devils last summer.
United are currently down to the bare bones as a result of injuries, and while it should have handed Sanchez and Fred the chance to feature more regularly, that interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has ignored them proves City dodged two bullets.
Fred is currently behind Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira in the pecking order, and only completed his second game since October during midweek’s 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.
Former boss Jose Mourinho didn’t trust the 25-year-old and neither does Solskjaer.
The Norwegian was also forced to play Sanchez against the Eagles, but the fact that he has only played 90 minutes just once this term – the 2-1 victory over Leicester City last August – speaks volume.
During the recent goalless draw against Liverpool, Solskjaer opted to bring in a barely-fit Jesse Lingard for Juan Mata before being forced to eventually replace the Englishman with Sanchez minutes later.
Pereira, instead of Fred was preferred to replace Ander Herrera in that same game, and Guardiola probably counts himself lucky to have missed out on the United duo right now.