Henrikh Mkhitaryan. .

Why Jose Mourinho picked Mkhitaryan for the Alexis Sanchez swap deal

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Football News

Manchester United fans are simply itching for confirmation over Alexis Sanchez's arrival and you can't exactly blame them.

The Red Devils have snatched Arsenal's star man from under the noses of their hesitant city rivals in a final throw of the dice this season. The absence of a work permit office in Manchester seems the last obstacle in a move that could be wrapped up within 48 hours.

Nevertheless, the high-profile switch isn't without its drawbacks. United look set to meet lucrative wage demands and are offloading Henrikh Mkhitaryan for a player in the final six months of his contract and on the verge of his thirties.

Opportunity knocked, though, and United didn't waste any time.

The benefits of bringing Sanchez to Old Trafford are clear to see with his success in the Premier League already apparent with his enviable mix of talent and hard work.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan closing in on Arsenal move

Less clear, however, is just how costly the concession of Mkhitaryan will prove. The Armenian has struggled at Old Trafford this season despite enjoying an impressive debut campaign and emerging from the summer with a flurry of assists.

Nevertheless, game time and notable performances have dried up in recent months with the likes of Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata favoured in United's attack.

Yet Mkhitaryan's talent is abundantly clear and it must be wondered whether a move to Arsenal would rekindle the form that saw him finish 2016-17 as one of United's star players.

Manchester United v Southampton - Premier League

Besides, the 29-year-old could cause havoc at the Emirates Stadium if he's reunited with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and can help Alexandre Lacazette score on a regular basis.

Debate will continue to rage about the situation but there is enough skepticism to wonder why Mourinho chose Mkhitaryan to bite the bullet or, simply, why didn't United cough up more?

Jose Mourinho's reasoning for the move

According to The Times, it's all down to the pressures of playing for one of the world's biggest clubs.

In the latest report on the blockbuster deal, it has been revealed that Mourinho thought the forward 'could not handle the pressure or physical toll of playing for Manchester United.'


The Special One called into his question his mental strength and decided to start him for just one league game over Christmas because he sees Lingard as 'a more robust alternative.'

Certainly justifiable reasoning from Mourinho but one that could easily come back to haunt him.

When he's securing a coup like that of Sanchez, however, it could very well be a risk worth taking. 

Who would you have included in the Sanchez swap deal? Have your say in the comments section below.

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Alexis Sanchez
Henrikh Mkhitaryan

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