The Manchester United manager has come under fire recently for leaving summer signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan out of his first team. Mourinho has now revealed why he doesn’t want to play the Armenian midfielder just yet
The arrival of the former Borussia Dortmund attacker to Old Trafford was greeted with much fanfare. The 27-year-old was fresh off wining the Bundesliga Players Player of the Season after enjoying a prolific campaign with BVB.
However, his Premier League career is yet to take off. The Armenian midfielder has started just one game for Man United in all competitions, the loss against Manchester City in the derby.
Mourinho’s decision to leave him out has come under even more scrutiny given the club’s underwhelming performances so far this season. However, the Portuguese manager has recently given Mkhitaryan his vote of confidence, saying that he is only giving the former Dormund attacker time to adjust to the needs of a new challenge.
“Mkhitaryan is not injured, he is training with the team 100%,” he told reporters ahead of United’s match against Burnley, according to Goal.
“Some players have the profile of adapting easily but some other players need more time to feel the intensity. Some players need time to feel the competitiveness and the level of work without the ball.
“Mkhi needs time to become the top player we know he can be.”
The Portuguese manager went on to compare Mkhitaryan’s situation to those of Willian and Angel di Maria when they arrived at Chelsea and Real Madrid respectively.
Mkhitaryan scored 11 goals and registered 15 assists for Dortmund in the Bundesliga last season. He is regarded as a play-maker par excellence, but Mourinho has been reluctant to play him, despite his record for Dortmund.
The absence from the first team has caused a lot of speculation, with the rumour mill recently claiming that Man United were looking to offload the player in January. This doesn’t seem to the case though, as Mourinho has publicly backed the summer signing to do well.
The Armenian midfielder will be raring to go for the Red Devils. Should he prove himself in training and be utilized properly, then Mkhitaryan could be the solution to Mourinho’s woes at Old Trafford.