Arsenal were mocked and Arsene Wenger was questioned when the Gunners spent £10.5million on Juventus’ Thierry Henry, back in 1999.
We all know how the story panned out, and Le Professeur had in fact nabbed the Premier League’s greatest ever player for less than Crystal Palace paid for a distinctly average left-back in Patrick van Aanholt, in 2017.
The transfer market is no longer a place for football managers to pick up bargains or bring in a player for anything that represents good value for money. It’s well and truly broken.
That £10.5million fee looks even more of a steal, when you consider that with 2017’s inflation, Arsenal would have to depart with £47.1million for their greatest ever player – the maths behind it all, can be found here; the Transfer Price Index (TPI) really is a marvellous thing.
Even someone like Alexis Sanchez, who moved to the Emirates Stadium in 2014 for £34million, has seen the transfer fee the Gunners paid Barcelona for him, rise by almost 33%. Madness.
And it makes you wonder how much Sanchez will go for when he refuses to sign a new deal and Arsenal sell him to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, in the summer. Are we looking at another world-record transfer fee breaker?
Talking of the Chilean superstar, the former Udinese forward has put together his ultimate XI. And what a side it is! Would Henry even get into this?!
GK – Oliver Kahn
The German icon may well look like a rock with a face on, but that didn't stop him being one of the finest ever goalies.
Sanchez threw the Bayern Munich man between the sticks for his desire and hunger to save every ball.
LB – Roberto Carlos
Surely the Brazilian banana-shot specialist makes every single all-time XI?
RB – Cafu
Of course the other iconic Brazilian full-back was going to be here. Included by the Arsenal man for attributes he holds close to his heart, all-out attacking play.
CB – Carles Puyol
The inspirational Barcelona leader, who inspires all around him - shame he couldn't inspire Sanchez to have more of an impact at the Nou Camp.
CB – Paolo Maldini
The epitome of what a centre-back should be. Imagine if Puyol and Maldini ever played together!
2011 – Xavi
Always the bridesmaid never the bride.
CM – Ronaldinho
Sanchez described the Brazilian master along the lines of 'A magician who spreads joy' - and we cannot agree more.
CAM – Diego Maradona
Sanchez clearly isn't put off by the fact the Argentine now looks like an extra from Narcos.
RW – Lionel Messi
Of course you knew he'd be there.
LW – Pele
Always amazes me when Pele gets in all-time XIs - the bloke just randomly plucks numbers out of the air for the number of goals he has scored: "Oh, and don't forget the 17 I scored down the park when I was 6."
Anyway, Sanchez rates the Brazilian, and has given him a free role on the left-wing.
ST – Ronaldo
'The Phenomenon' would lead Sanchez's line; a player he believes is the best of all-time.