Juan Mata: Alexis Sanchez signing raises things up a gear at Manchester United

by Harry Robinson

Juan Mata has expressed his delight at seeing Manchester United sign Alexis Sanchez in a straight player-swap deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The transfer was completed just over a week ago and Sanchez made his debut for the Reds on Friday night in a comfortable 4-0 victory against Yeovil Town in the FA Cup Fourth Round.

29-year-old Sanchez grabbed an assist for Ander Herrera’s goal, the second of the game, and played a key role in Marcus Rashford’s opener.


Mata said he was pleased to see Sanchez brought into the club to improve the competition for places in the side.

“For Alexis Sánchez, that game [against Yeovil] meant his debut as a Red Devil,” Mata wrote in his weekly blog.

“His arrival is great news because a player of his level always raises the competition within the team and our competitiveness. He’s a great player and I’m sure that he will help us a lot.”

Mata was quick to add his best wishes to Mkhitaryan, who was well liked at the club, by both players and fans.

“I don’t want to forget to wish the best of luck once again to Henrikh Mkhitaryan,” Mata said, describing his ex-teammate as a “footballer with great talent and a friend that deserves all the good things that happen to him. Enjoy in your new club and see you soon!”

Everyone at United was sad to see Mkhitaryan leave the club. Though he struggled to find consistency at Old Trafford, particularly in the latter months of his 18-month spell, he showed his unbelievable quality at times.

Most notably so with a scorpion kick in his first season but also with his massive importance in the glorious UEFA Europa League campaign.

Sanchez, though, is a hugely exciting prospect, as Mata says, and adds enormous amounts of quality to the attacking side of the team.

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