Unlike the majority of player signings arriving to the Premier League for the first time — especially those acquired midseason, during the January transfer window — Alexis Sanchez is set to meet every expectation that he hit the ground running at Manchester United, beginning with Friday’s debut against League Two side Yeovil Town.
Sanchez’s new boss, Man United manager Jose Mourinho, expects exactly the same and was highly complimentary of the Chilean superstar, whom he labeled “an amazing addition,” following his side’s FA Cup triumph. Unlike those players coming to the PL from a foreign league, Sanchez has the advantage of his three and a half years at Arsenal and should continue to contribute further goals and assists (as he did the latter on Friday) in immediate return — quotes from the Guardian:
“I’m very happy, but after over three years in the Premier League, playing every week, everyone knows what Alexis is about. You don’t think about adaptation or something like that in relation to English football, so it was no surprise for us. A fantastic player. He showed that and he is an amazing addition for us.”
As for the series of physical challenges which came flying in early and often, Mourinho praised Sanchez for his “tough guy” attitude and mindset. Again, though, going back to his familiarity with the English game, it was simply the minimum expectation:
“I was impressed with his attitude. I did my job well and told the players they should be ready for [physical challenges] and never to react because, sometimes, the top players lose their head and balance in these matches, and then they can be the ones who are punished by the referee.
“I understand the decision not to show the red card because this is a special day, and 10 against 11 in that moment of the game is game over. So I understand Paul Tierney’s decision. We love the FA Cup and to come to these stadiums but the players need protection. Alexis is a tough guy and he knew what to expect. I’m happy with everything he did”