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Alexis celebrates against Spurs

Three things Alexis has brought to United

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Jose Mourinho has praised the impact of January signing Alexis Sanchez, claiming that United “needed” a player with the Chilean’s distinctive set of skills.

The forward scored a crucial and spectacular equaliser in the 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in last weekend’s Emirates FA Cup semi-final, before playing a key role in the move that led to Ander Herrera’s second-half winner.

How we reached the FA Cup finalVideo

That performance was the latest in a spurt of impressive recent showings from the club’s new no.7, who was named Man of the Match in the 2-0 win over Swansea in late March, and had a huge hand in the dramatic derby comeback against Manchester City the following month.

Speaking ahead of United’s Premier League clash with Alexis’s former team, Arsenal, Mourinho explained why the Reds were so determined to sign him.

“We fought to have him here and I was, since day one, sure that he was the right player,” said the boss. “Not just by the typical football qualities, but also by his mentality and we needed that. 
We needed a little bit more experience, we needed a little bit more of mental aggressiveness, and I knew that sooner or later, we’re coming [improving as a team].”

Jose Mourinho says

"Since day one I was sure Alexis was the right player, not just by the typical football qualities but also by his mentality, experience and mental aggressiveness."

Since Alexis’s arrival, United have shown increasing reserves of mental strength, by coming from behind to beat Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Manchester City and Tottenham, suggesting that the player’s fortitude and drive have already added an extra dimension to the team.

But Mourinho believes United will see even more from the Chilean next term. “I don't like the January market, but it was now or never, so it was now and obviously if we can have good Alexis until the end of the season, it is better for us.