Ander Herrera claims Alexis Sanchez’s fighting spirit has already ignited Manchester United as the Chile forward prepares to make his Premier League debut for his new club away at Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night (at 3am Cambodian time).
Sanchez is the highest paid player in the Premier League after making a blockbuster move to United from Spurs' local rivals Arsenal last week.
The 29-year-old marked his debut by setting up two goals in United’s 4-0 beating of minnows Yeovil in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday.
Sanchez paraded his sublime skills to lay on strikes for Marcus Rashford and Herrera, but it wasn’t just his deft touch that impressed his United teammates.
Despite criticism of his attitude in the latter stages of his spell with Arsenal, Spain midfielder Herrera says Sanchez’s grit and desire have rubbed off on his new colleagues and are certain to prove a huge asset.
“What I really like from him is the way he fights when the team loses the ball,” Herrera told MUTV.
“He’s always ready to be the first defender for the team, and that's big for us.
“Obviously we know his quality on the ball, he’s amazing, but his fight, the way he defends, he’s the first player to defend. I really like it.”
United manager Jose Mourinho, whose second placed side are 12 points behind leaders Manchester City, clearly agrees with Herrera about Sanchez’s catalyst qualities.
Sanchez has now been designated his own locker in the United changing room next to two specific players.
The pair on either side of the Chilean are Rashford and Jesse Lingard, and Mourinho is reportedly behind the decision.
It is believed that Mourinho wants Sanchez’s positive attitude to work to rub off on the youngsters.
Premier League fixtures
Chelsea v Bournemouth 2:45am
Everton v Leicester 2:45am
Newcastle v Burnley 2:45am
Man City v West Brom 3am
Tottenham v Man Utd 3am
Stoke v Watford 3am