Nemanja Vidic claims Alexis Sanchez will have a big impact in the Champions League

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic believes Alexis Sanchez will play a big part in his side’s Champions League campaign this season.

The Chilean officially joined Man United earlier this week in a swap deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan going the other way.

United’s next European outing comes at Sevilla on February 21 and Sanchez, thanks to Arsenal’s Europa League status, will be able to play.

And Vidic, reflecting on the Chilean’s transfer, noted that he was excited to see how Sanchez would get on in the Champions League.

“I am excited, as well,” he said. “I think he is a player who has played in top clubs before, he has experience, won the trophies and played Champions League.”

“It is a good signing for Man United. He brings something different into the team.

“I think we are now in a situation where we are focusing on the Champions League, as [Manchester] City are many points above Man United. Obviously, we never give up on the [Premier League] title, but I think the Champions League is realistic this season.

“I believe we can do a good job. As a club, when you want a player like Alexis Sanchez you do not think about City wanting him, Barcelona or someone. You want the player, as you think they can make the difference.

“I think Sanchez is the same. He can change the things for Manchester United, improve the team and help us grow.

“I am glad he signed. Now, we are waiting for him to start and help the team.”

Last season reminded the watching world to never doubt Mourinho’s capacity to deliver in Europe. The Portuguese, with calculation and grit, got the better of all opponents put before him in the knockout stages in what was a clear example of where his strength as a manager lies.

His failure to keep up with Manchester City – notably the spells of poor form in October and late December – in the Premier League shows that the incessant onslaught of games can often leave him cold on his feet.

But when he knows the opponent weeks – or even months – in advance and has time to devise a plan to claw away at their weaknesses and nullify any notable strengths, United can be a force against any side, and Sanchez’s presence – especially on the break – will only add to Mourinho’s capacity to deliver strategic sucker-punches in Europe this season.

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