Wednesday 17 January 2018

'He is not injured': Mourinho explains why big money signing Mkhitaryan is not in his Man Utd team

Wayne Rooney and Jose Mourinho
Wayne Rooney and Jose Mourinho
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that summer signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan is not being left out of his team due to an injury, as he admitted that his summer signing was not adapting well to Premier League football.

Mkhitaryan was a high profile arrival from Borrusia Dortmund last July, but he was criticised by Mourinho after a woeful display in the 2-1 defeat against Manchester City last month ended with him being substituted at half-time.

There are already rumours that Mkhitaryan could be sold by United in the January transfer window, yet Mourinho has offered his full backing to the Armenian international, even though he admits he is struggling to find his feet in English football.

“Mkhitaryan is not injured,” confirmed Mourinho. “Mkhitaryan is training with the team 100 per-cent.

“I think some players have a profile that they are really adapted to come to England and play. Others need more time. They need time to feel it, time to feel the intensity, time to feel the aggression, the competitiveness.

“Many times players come from different countries and the realities are different in the styles of football and the realities are different, for sure, in the competitiveness.

“There is no other country where it doesn’t matter what team you play against because if you don’t play your best, you have no chance.

“Does Mkhi need time to become the top player we know he can be? I think he needs time, but it can work for him (at Man Utd) for sure.

“Of course we believe in him and sooner or later, it will be no problem.”

Mourinho went on to offer up some interesting observations about players at his former clubs, as he suggested Angel Di Maria struggled to find his feet at Real Madrid and the same was true of Willian at Chelsea.

“I don’t like to speak about players from other clubs because I don’t want to be misinterpreted, but Willian when he arrived at Chelsea, he had problems to play,” he added.

“He went through a process and after a few months, he become a top player and the next season when the team were champions, he was phenomenal and still is.

“I had something similar with Di Maria when he arrived at Real Madrid, coming from Portugal. He had to learn a lot about his new game and adapt to a new reality. Sometimes it happens.”

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