The case of Henrikh Mkhitaryan gets stranger and stranger. A player signed for a considerable £26m over the summer by Jose Mourinho has been more or less frozen out of the first team picture this season.
Former Borussia Dortmund man Mkhitaryan has started just once this season for the Red Devils this term, and that only lasted 45 minutes as the Armenian international was taken off at half-time after a below-par first half performance. Mkhitaryan has not featured for United since.
Jose Mourinho has insisted that the 27-year-old has no injuries and is fully fit, and Mkhitaryan would have no doubt been surprised not to be have been included in the starting lineups for the games against Fenerbache and perhaps Manchester City as Mourinho looked to chop and change in the different cup competitions.
However, Mkhitaryan could have in fact joined Premier League rivals Arsenal over the summer according to the Daily Mail. Maybe if he had joined Arsene Wenger’s side, things might have turned out differently in Mkhitaryan’s debut Premier League season.
Arsenal were in line to sign the Armenian from Borussia Dortmund for around £16m, but United came in with a bid of £26.3m, making Mkhitaryan the latest player that Arsenal have missed out on as a result of being outbid by rival clubs. Something that Arsenal fans will be far from delighted about.
But would things have been different at Arsenal? Theo Walcott has been in good form recently for Arsenal playing on the right, but it is more than likely that Mkhitaryan would have started over the England international should he have completed a move to North London over the summer.
It is clear that Mkhitaryan has the talent and the potential to succeed in the Premier League. The United player managed a solid 11 goals in the Bundesliga last season. In addition to this, he chipped in with a further eleven assists. The 27-year-old has shown his creative talent in the Bundesliga over the years, especially last season. He created 82 chances for his teammates and made 67 key passes in 31 league games last term.
The stats show that Mkhitaryan certainly has the creativity to warrant the £26m transfer fee that he moved to Manchester United for over the summer transfer window. However, for whatever reason, he has been frozen out of the first team picture for a large part of this season.
So what should the United winger do next? Mourinho has said that he is confident that Mkhitaryan will succeed in the Premier League for Manchester United, so at some point will surely give him an extended run in the first team. The former Dortmund man can do one of two things. He can either work his hardest in training and wait for his run in the first team, or he can try and force through a January transfer window move away from United. I am sure that clubs will be queuing up for a player of his quality should he become available.