Manchester United new boy Alexis Sanchez could make bow in FA Cup tie at Yeovil
The new Red Devils star might face the minnows.
Alexis Sanchez’s Manchester United debut could come in Somerset after Jose Mourinho confirmed the man he rates as “one of the best attacking players in the world” will be in his squad to face Yeovil.
United’s new number seven completed his move to Old Trafford on Monday in a straight swap deal with Arsenal that saw £35million-rated midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan head in the opposite direction.
Sanchez, 29, will now be part of the group Mourinho takes to Huish Park for a fourth-round tie with the League Two Glovers on Friday night.
“In the Premier League he has shown already the quality he has. We got one of the best attacking players in the world,” Mourinho said of Sanchez.
“I think he’s very important for us because we want to have the best possible players.”
Should he feature at Yeovil, Mourinho may consider Sanchez for a number of different attacking roles having been impressed by his versatility for Italian side Udinese and Spanish giants Barcelona prior to his 2014 arrival in England.
“Our careers are almost made in the same countries simultaneously, so I know him very, very well,” added former Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss Mourinho.
“I saw him play on the right, on the left, as a striker and behind the striker, these are Alexis’ positions.
“I saw him play in different tactical systems, with different philosophies of different managers, I saw him (be) successful in every country, with every manager, with every system, in every position.”
Having just pulled off one significant coup in the transfer market, Mourinho dismissed the possibility of making another seismic move by bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford from Real Madrid.
The 32-year-old has again been linked with a return to United, the club he left to join Madrid in a then world-record deal in 2009.
Ronaldo and his Madrid team-mates are experiencing an unhappy campaign in Spain as they trail LaLiga leaders Barcelona by 19 points.
“I think with the moment Real Madrid is having now, I think I should be the last one to add some fuel to the fire,” Mourinho said.
“Madrid is on fire, the results are not good and it’s a club where I worked (for) three years, I care about the club.
“I am the last one to add fire so to put some water on the fire, I would say Cristiano is the kind of player that every manager, club wants but only one manager, club can have – (Zinedine) Zidane and Real Madrid, that’s my feeling.”
By signing Sanchez in a swap deal, Mourinho also bid farewell to Mkhitaryan, one of his first signings at United in the summer of 2016.
Mourinho on Mkhitaryan: “United & Arsenal made a fantastic deal, I lost a fantastic player, Mr Wenger lost a fantastic player. Alexis changed from a fantastic club to a giant club & Mkhi changed also for a fantastic club, so it was a great deal for everybody.” #mufc #afc— Liam Blackburn (@liamblackburn) January 25, 2018
The Armenian, also 29, has been inconsistent but his old boss is confident he will shine under Arsene Wenger in north London.
“United and Arsenal made a fantastic deal,” Mourinho said. “I lost a fantastic player, Mr Wenger lost a fantastic player. I got a fantastic player, Mr Wenger got a fantastic player.
“I believe that Mkhi is going to be even better than he was with us. Why? Because (with) one and a half years in England, the Premier League, adapted, knows Arsenal, the way they play, they think.
“Could he perform better with us? Could I take more from his talent? Maybe. Could he give a little bit more also to try to adapt to us? Maybe. But I don’t think (about) regrets. He’s in our history, he did important things for us so (there is a) good feeling for everybody.”