New man Vydra holds former team-mate Sanchez in high regard

When it comes to understanding the challenge that lies ahead for the Clarets, new man Matej Vydra knows better than most.

Friday, 31st August 2018, 11:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 8:20 pm
Burnley's Matej Vydra looks dejected as Olympiakos celebrate their goal

Last season's Championship Golden Boot winner, who netted on his Burnley debut in the Europa League play-off against Olympiakos, believes that Sunday's visitors to Turf Moor, Manchester United, possess one of the most talented players on the planet.

During the his first season with Serie A side Udinese the 26-year-old played alongside Alexis Sanchez, before the Chilean magician was snapped up by then Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola.

While the pair trained alongside each other for a whole season in north-eastern Italy, they never actually played in the same XI at Stadio Friuli, now known as the Dacia Arena.

Sanchez scored 20 goals in 95 appearances for Udinese with Vydra featuring just four times across all competitions around loan spells with Club Brugge, West Brom and two temporary spells at Watford.

"I know Alexis Sanchez who is playing there," he said. "I was with him at Udinese about seven years ago so it will be nice to see him.

"He's a very good player. When I saw him for the first time on the pitch I'd never seen a better player. He's so strong on the ball and without the ball he's really good.

"I haven't seen him for seven years because he went to Barcelona and I was over here. I watch Alexis Sanchez because I played with him and I try to learn things from how he plays. Hopefully, one day, we can go for dinner."

The Czech Republic international, named the 2013 Championship Player of the Year after helping the Hornets to the play-off final, was delighted to get off the mark at the first attempt having joined from Derby County.

And now he's feeling more relaxed ahead of the visit of Jose Mourinho and co. "I didn't expect to score in my first game but you never know what can happen," said Vydra.

"For a striker to score on their debut it's big because after you're more relaxed and you're calmer on the ball. Hopefully it helps my situation.

"For a striker it's important to score at the beginning of the season or on a debut and I've done that.

"The Premier League is difficult so I can't guarantee I'll have more freedom but I hope to have a good game."