With Manchester United playing so poorly, many are wondering why Henrikh Mkhitaryan has not been playing for the team more.
The Armenian cost the club more than £20million, and was deemed a bargain at the time considering he was named Bundesliga Player of the Season last year – ahead of the likes of Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski, David Alaba and Aubameyang. His talent was there for all to see last season, with the playmaker managing double figures in both Bundesliga goals and assists. But Mourinho thinks he isn’t good enough for the club yet…
“He has to do more. It’s as simple as that. We have big expectations in the club,” Mourinho said, when asked about Mkhitaryan.
Big expectations? Fair. But a lot of the players are not living up to those expectations and I think it is unfair to single out this new signing for criticism – he’s barely had a chance.
“We have big expectations at this club, lots of players for these positions and he has to play better than Mata, Lingard, Martial – he has to play better than them. It’s as simple as that.” Mourinho continued.
Are those three players playing well? Mata has had some good games this season but you cannot say that the other two have been playing at a high level.
“Every manager wants to win matches, every manager in the world wants to play the players that he thinks can help the team more, and I’m no different.”
It’s a fair comment of course, but not in regards to Mkhitaryan. The midfielder was given 29 minutes in the Fenerbahce 2-1 loss, and in that time Manchester United managed to get a goal back. But he hasn’t had a real chance, with just 1 Premier League start and 3 sub apps – tonight was his first Europa League appearance.
On the other side of things – the likes of Paul Pogba are given chance after chance, without doing anything special and Mourinho has never uttered a bad word about him. At the end of the day Mourinho decided to sign Pogba and Mkhitaryan – but he’s treating one too nicely and one horribly – surely something is going on behind the scenes for this to happen?
Manchester United need productivity and Mkhitaryan is a specialist in that. Last season he created and scored goals for fun – surely Mourinho needs to give him more time in the starting eleven to adjust to the team and English football?
United fans – what do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.