Ray Parlour: Alexis Sanchez can be the difference for Manchester United in the Champions League

by Marwan Harraz

Manchester United’s latest star Alexis Sanchez could be the difference for his new team in the Champions League according to pundit Ray Parlour.

The Chilean international joined Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford in the transfer deal of the window so far with Henrikh Mkhitaryan going the other way to Arsenal.

The transfer represents an astonishingly smart piece of business by the club with no cash being spent on arguably one of the best players in the Premier League.

Sanchez’s contract was due to expire at the end of the season and United decided to go for a straight swap of players, offloading Mkhitaryan who was struggling to make an impact.

Parlour has been impressed with the former Barcelona man already and has claimed that his quality could be all the difference in the world to the Red Devils.

According to Goal, Ray said to Sky Sports: “Sometimes they have to drag him off the training field. He’s always out there, he don’t want to miss a game.

“I think his energy will come through with the other players as well and his goals, he will score you plenty of goals. You can’t always rely on [Romelu] Lukaku, if he has a bad spell you’ve got players behind him now to score goals.

“He’s going to be a lot more prolific probably than the players in around him. Champions League football as well, he can play straight away.

“He could be brilliant this season. That’s probably why he wanted to get the deal through quickly because he’s another asset for them in the Champions League.

“That could be the difference in getting them to the semi-final or final.”

Alexis represents the type of versatile attacker Mourinho loves at Old Trafford as he is capable of playing anywhere in the manager’s front four.

Jose has a tendency to shape his teams into his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation and is slowly getting the team up to speed having flirted with the 3-5-2 and 4-3-3 formations as well.

In fact, success with the 4-3-3 formation has even led to fans calling for the Portuguese boss to implement it on a regular basis.

However, that’s unlikely to happen given the number of attacking midfielders the club currently posses as well as their lack of quality depth in central midfield.

The 3-5-2 allows Manchester United to feature two strikers but Jose Mourinho has often opted to use the formation in games he thinks his team are underdogs in.

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