Saturday 16 December 2017

Scholes serves up resounding message for Manchester United boss Mourinho

Henrikh Mkhitaryan scores his first goal for Manchester United. Photo: Peter Cziborra / Reuters
Henrikh Mkhitaryan scores his first goal for Manchester United. Photo: Peter Cziborra / Reuters
Manchester United's Jose Mourinho after tonight's win
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Paul Scholes has urged Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho to install Henrikh Mkhitarayan as one of the first names on his team sheet from this point forward after his latest impressive display in Thursday night’s win against Zorya Luhansk.

Mkhitarayan scored his first United goal after his classy run and finish set up their 2-0 win in Ukraine, which booked a passage to the last-32 of the Europa League.

Read more: Jose Mourinho has completely changed his tune on one big money summer signing

After an indifferent start to his time at United, the player signed from Borussia Dortmund last summer is now starting to emerge as a key man for Mourinho, with United legend Scholes convinced he has to start against Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday.

“It took him a little bit of time to settle in, but I think United fans over the last couple of weeks are starting to see the player they paid a lot of money for,” Scholes told BT Sport.

“Three or four weeks ago I thought it was only a matter of time before he started producing and we’re seeing that now with a little run of games, he’s starting to produce.

“What’s he got different from Juan Mata is that pace. Mata’s got the trick, but has he got the pace to go past people? I don’t think he has.

“I think Mkhitaryan has got the trick and the pace to go past people and produce what he did tonight.”

Former United striker Michael Owen backed up Scholes’ comments, as he backed Mkhitarayan to nail down a regular spot in Mourinho’s line-up.

“He would be my first choice in one of three positions,” stated Owen. “Jose will be picking his team, with Ibra up top and whether it’s left, right or central, he’s my first choice.

“Mata’s had a fantastic season, and they’ve got the pace of Marcus Rashford and the experience and quality of Wayne Rooney.

“You’ve got so many options – (Jesse) Lingard, (Anthony) Martial – but Mkhitaryan would go in first for me.”

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