Football: Jose Mourinho keeps mum over versatile Alexis Sanchez

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho acknowledge Alexis Sanchez's ability to play in "four different positions", which will be a boost to United's attacking prowess.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho acknowledge Alexis Sanchez's ability to play in "four different positions", which will be a boost to United's attacking prowess.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho confirmed new signing Alexis Sanchez is in the squad for today's FA Cup fourth-round clash at Yeovil Town, but did not clarify if the Chilean will start or even play a part against the League Two club.

He did, however, acknowledge the forward's ability to play in "four different positions", which will be a boost to United's attacking prowess.

"I saw him play on the right, on the left, as a striker and behind the striker, these are Alexis' positions," Mourinho said at his pre-match conference yesterday.

"I saw him play different tactical systems, different philosophies of different managers, I saw him successful in every country with every manager and every position so he's a player that becomes more than a player because of that motivation."

When asked about his opinion on the swop deal which saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan move to Arsenal, he added: "I think it was a fantastic deal and a fantastic deal is only fantastic if it is good for everybody.

"United and Arsenal made a fantastic deal, I lost a fantastic player, Mr (Arsene) Wenger lost a fantastic player, Alexis changed from a fantastic club to a giant club and Mkhi changed for a fantastic club, so it was a great deal for everybody."

Having missed Arsenal's third-round defeat at Nottingham Forest, United's new No. 7 Sanchez avoided being Cup-tied for the remainder of this season's competition, meaning that he could feature at Huish Park in Mourinho's 100th match in charge.

The trip will be familiar to some United fans, after the 12-time FA Cup winners, under former manager Louis van Gaal, laboured to a 2-0 success over Yeovil in the third round in January 2015.

"We want to win, we know what Cups are. United played I think a couple of years ago at Yeovil and they know the difficulties they felt, so we have to go with a very strong team," Mourinho added.

"We are going to rest a couple of players, we have also a couple with little problems. We want to try to resolve to have them without problems for the next matches coming in February, Premier League and also Champions League, but we go with a very strong team."

REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2018, with the headline 'Mourinho keeps mum over versatile Sanchez'. Print Edition | Subscribe