If scripts were to be written in football, then the story of Mkhitaryan at Manchester United merits an E. The Armenian has struggled to impress since his summer move from Borussia Dortmund, and has featured only four times in the Premier League, with just a solitary start.
Ahead of the crucial Europa League clash against Feyeenoord on Thursday, manager of the Red Devils, Jose Mourinho has confirmed that the 27 year old playmaker is in line for a place in the starting eleven against their Dutch opponents. In recent weeks, the player has even been left out of the match day squads despite being fit and insisting he is ready to play.
Mkhitaryan played last for Manchester United in the league in the 2-1 home loss to Manchester City, a game in which he was really terrible as he struggled to cope with the high-intensity of the English game. He suffered a thigh injury in September, which ruled him out of action for around a month.
He has been fit for over a month now, and hasn’t played ever since except for the 2-1 loss to Fenerbache on the 3rd of this month where he played for just 29 minutes. He has also been rumoured to have not fully settled to life in England, leading to a loss of form and confidence. The likes of Juan Mata, Lingard and Anthony Martial are all ages ahead of him in the selection pecking order, but the match against Fayernood serves as ample opportunity for the 27 year old to remind everyone of his undisputed quality.
Mourinho was quoted as saying by the Manchester United official website on Saturday as saying, “Yes. I told him today that he is going to be involved in the game against Feyenoord. He is trying. Obviously he is not happy but he is transforming his frustration in a good way, which is to close the mouth, work hard and try to adapt,”. The player has vowed to force his way into the thoughts of his manager, and for this Mourinho has praised him for his professionalism.
We haven’t been fantastic in recent weeks and no player is assured of his place. That should be the perfect motivation for Mkhitaryan to play well against the Eredivisie league leaders.