Thursday 24 May 2018

Henrikh Mkhitaryan frustrated with Jose Mourinho for playing him out of position for United

Jack Austin

Manchester United summer signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan has only been at Old Trafford for two months but is already growing frustrated with life under Jose Mourinho.

Mkhitaryan has featured in all of United’s games this season but has only started once – a below-par performance in the Manchester derby which saw him replaced at half time.

But it is the role, and not the minutes, Mourinho has him playing which has caused the rift, according to The Sun.

Despite shining in the number 10 position for Borussia Dortmund last season, where he scored 23 goals and assisted a further 26, Mkhitaryan has found his playing time limited to the right-hand side of the attacking triumvirate supporting Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

It is a role that was occupied by either Juan Mata or Jesse Lingard last season with Wayne Rooney taking the Armenian’s favoured number 10 spot.

Some fans have called for Mkhitaryan to take Rooney’s position behind the main striker but Mourinho suggested his performance on the weekend meant he would lose his position in the starting XI.

Speaking after the derby on Saturday, Mourinho said: “The performances are the deciding factor. Performances are the only way that I can decide [who starts].

“Performances are the only way that I can decide. So if you are asking me if they are going to play against Feyenoord then no.

“And it is not to punish them, it is just to decide in relation to what I have - and what do I have? Their performances.

“So of course I am going to play other players.”

Mkhitaryan repeatedly lost the ball and broke down counter attacks against City and is likely to be one of the players dropped for the Europa League tie on Thursday.

And given that Rooney is captain and Mourinho made it clear that he only sees him as a striker, Mkhitaryan looks set to continue playing from the right for the foreseeable future.

Independent News Service

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