Saturday 10 December 2016

'Where is Henrikh Mkhitaryan?!' - Manchester United fans puzzled by the summer signing's exclusion

Callum Davis

Published 26/10/2016 | 19:48

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has struggled to settle at Manchester United
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has struggled to settle at Manchester United

Jose Mourinho once again chose to exclude Henrikh Mkitaryan from his match day squad as Manchester United met Manchester City for a place in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup.

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Mkhitaryan has made just three appearances since arriving at the club in the summer and his absence from Jose Mourinho's plans continues to defy explanation.

Manchester United's £26 million signing was left out of their squad on Wednesday night, just under a week since he was forced to watch United's Europa League game with Fenerbahce from the Old Trafford stands.

The 27-year-old has struggled with a thigh injury since arriving from Borussia Dortmund, with his one start coming in Manchester United's derby day defeat to Manchester City,

However, despite claiming the midfielder was fit to play a part against Fenerbahce, Mourinho offered Mkhitaryan no part in their 4-1 victory.

"One thing is fit and not injured, another is match fitness, match intensity and ready to play this game," Mourinho told BT Sport.

"I play with Lingard and Martial, I have on the bench Rashford and Memphis Depay, I cannot play with everyone at the same time.

"Micky hasn’t played in a long time, this team is a good team with a good intensity."

Despite his lack of first team opportunities the Armenian international said he was willing to fight for his place ahead of Manchester United's league cup derby with Manchester City.

It doesn't matter if they buy me for, I don't know, £38million or £40m, I am not guaranteed to play the games," Mkhitaryan said.

"So I am trying to do my best during the training to earn this place to play and then we will see, because I don't think I will play every game, depending on the tactical situation, depending on the opponent.

"But I will do everything to try and help the team."

However this latest development will come as a blow to the forward who starred in Borussia Dortmund's league campaign last season.

Mkhitaryan's absence incensed a number of Manchester United fans who have bemoaned the inclusion of Marouane Fellaini at the Armenian's expense.

Mourinho fielded an otherwise impressive starting line-up with Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford all lining up at Old Trafford.

Telegraph.co.uk

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