Manchester United’s summer signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan trained alone at Carrington on Sunday as he looked to enhance his fitness after being left out of the matchday squad against Burnley.
According to Samuel Luckhurst of Manchester Evening News, Manchester United attacker Henrikh Mkhitaryan trained on his own in Carrington on Sunday. The Armenian was left out of the matchday squad in the weekend draw against Burnley, and is apparently working on his fitness to make his way into the first team.
After playing a game on Saturday, Mourinho decided to give his boys the day off on Sunday, but Mkhitaryan opted to have a go at the training field to improve his fitness regime.
It is also reported that the Armenian enjoys his time in training and would even do additional drills post his regular sessions at Shakhtar Donetsk. He was described as a ‘perfectionist and a hard-worker’ because of his willingness to go the extra mile.
While there was an added buzz surrounding Mkhitaryan’s arrival at Old Trafford, the player has not yet seemed to get his foot in at his new club. He has been restricted to just one start this season after he endured a disastrous first 45 minutes against Manchester City, and came off the bench for a brief cameo against Hull City in the previous gameweek.
In the buildup to the game against Burnley, Mourinho said that Mkhitaryan has taken time to adjust to life in the Premier League and that he will, in no way, leave the club in the summer, despite rampant rumours suggesting the contrary.
“Mkhitaryan is not injured, he is training with the team 100 percent,” Mourinho told a news conference. “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,” Mourinho said as quoted by ESPN.
Should Mourinho have listened to the advise from his medical team?
According to the Independent, the medical team at the club advised Mourinho against signing the prolific Borussia Dortmund attacker. The report states that they had doubts with his ability to match the physicality needed for the Premier League.
It probably would have been a wise move from Mourinho to have listened to his medical team and looked for a more adept option. Mkhitaryan’s flaws were palpable in the game against Manchester City, and he struggled to create an impact from the right flank.
However, with him part of the United squad, he could be used in a more central position by Mourinho. He prefers playing in the number 10 position where he is given the freedom to have a greater impact on proceedings.