Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera is expecting Alexis Sanchez to produce his best once again in 2019 after a difficult first year at Old Trafford.
Sanchez joined United almost exactly a year ago, as he departed Arsenal on January 22, 2018, in a deal which saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan go the other way.
The swap was arguably the biggest deal of the previous January transfer window, leading to much debate about which club had the better end of the bargain.
However, neither player has impressed in the last 12 months – Sanchez scoring just three times in 23 Premier League appearances for United while also suffering a series of injury issues.
But with United playing with much more creative freedom and attacking intent under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Herrera is backing Sanchez to make an impact in the second half of the campaign.
Ahead of Friday’s FA Cup clash with Sanchez’s former club Arsenal, Herrera told MUTV: “He [Sanchez] did amazing for them [Arsenal].
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 25, 2019
“He was the best player for them every single season he was there, so I think Arsenal fans will receive him in a good way, because he has been fantastic for them.
“He has given everything and now we have him. Now we want to enjoy him. His character makes him a really special player and I think we are going to see the best of Alexis in 2019.”
With United out of the EFL Cup, well off the pace in the Premier League and drawn against Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain in the first knockout round of the Champions League, the FA Cup represents a realistic chance of winning silverware this term.
Herrera accepts finishing in the top four in the league is still the main target, but insists United will be going all out to bring the FA Cup back to Old Trafford.
“Of course, the Premier League is the main objective for everyone,” he said. “But it’s really nice to win a trophy and I think Manchester United always fight for titles and for trophies.
“We are not going to throw this competition away – no chance. We have a lot of expectations, we are out of the EFL Cup, so the FA Cup is the only English competition, apart from the Premier League, that we are involved in, so we go with everything.
“We still think our main objective is the league, of course, but Manchester United is about trophies, it is about titles, so we are not going to throw it away.”
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