Denis Irwin hails opportunism of Jose Mourinho in signing Alexis Sanchez

by Harry Robinson

Denis Irwin has hailed the opportunism of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho in signing Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal.

The 29-year-old signed for the Reds on Monday evening, putting pen to paper on a four-and-a-half year deal at the club as Henrikh Mkhitaryan moved to the Emirates in a straight player-swap deal.

He had been expected to sign for cross-city title rivals Manchester City either this month or in the summer, having come close to a £60m deal with the Chilean in the summer. United swooped in at the start of January.

Irwin was delighted to see Sanchez sign for the club.

“When a player of that ability comes along, I think you have got to be in the market for him,” Irwin said.

“He’s a player who knows the Premier League, his goal record… he’s an experienced international. He’s quick, he’s strong.”

Speaking before Sanchez’s move on Monday, Irwin said, “it would be great if he comes to Manchester United because he would not just add to our squad but our team. He’s a really good player and I think he will be a good addition, really good.”

The Irishman also hailed manager Mourinho’s ability to attract big-name players, with United having signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and now Alexis Sanchez since the Portuguese took over at Old Trafford.

“Since he’s [Mourinho] come in 16-17 months back, he’s brought in some really good players,” Irwin said.

“He attracts good players and all of them have strengthened us. He knows he’s not there yet but we are getting back to where we should be.

“I feel we are lot more competitive than 16 months ago. For me, he’s been fantastic. Two trophies last season, progression on the field, we are getting better and stronger, I don’t see any reason why not [to give him an extension].”

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