Friday, April 20, 2018

Henrikh Mkhitaryan needs a chance at Manchester United

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 31 Oct 2016

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has hardly featured for Manchester United since his summer arrival

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has hardly featured for Manchester United since his summer arrival

This season is definitely not going to plan at the moment for Manchester United.

The Red Devils are eighth in the Premier League table. With their high-profile players struggling to hit form (that is you Zlatan).

One of the most unbelievable occurrences at United this season has been the situation with Armenian attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The star arrived from Dortmund as a potential signing of the summer transfer window.

However, it seems the attacking midfielder is getting the cold shoulder from United boss Jose Mourinho. The highly-rated star has hardly featured for the Red Devils this season.

Mkhitaryan came to England as a star

The 27-year-old was one of the best-attacking players in European football last season for Dortmund. He scored 23 times and produced an incredible 32 assists for BVB in all competitions. The fact that he was successful on both the left and the right flank also showed he is versatile.

Prior to his arrival at Dortmund, he was also highly successful in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk and Metalurh Donetsk. Basically, since he has left his homeland, Mkhitaryan has produced impressive performances and stats wherever he has played.

Even as somebody that does not support Manchester United, I was excited about Mkhitaryan coming to the Premier League. I had seen him play a lot in the Bundesliga and he seemed like a fantastic addition to the English top-flight.

Hardly featured in the Premier League

A lot was expected of the Armenian, but he has started just one Premier League game this season. Even then he was substituted at half-time. He did have some injury niggles earlier in the campaign, but he is now reported to be fully-fit.

The fact he is fully-fit and has not been in United’s last three matchday squads is very bizarre. There is an argument that he needs to adjust to English football. However, how is he going to adjust to the English game by sitting in the stands?

The answer is he will not. Anyway, the Bundesliga is not that different to the Premier League. It is arguably the closest in terms of pace and physicality to the English top-flight. In terms of competitiveness, then the English top-flight is arguably more competitive than its German counterpart.

It’s not like Mkhitaryan came from South America or a low standard league, though. The Bundesliga is among the best in the world. Dortmund also played Champions League football, so Mkhitaryan also has experience of playing in Europe’s elite competition.

There were reports that Mkhitaryan was touted as a signing for United prior to Mourinho’s appointment. Maybe the Portuguese boss not rate the attacking midfielder. If he does not then his sanity needs to be checked, along with his managerial ability.

Maybe Mourinho subscribes to the notion that Mkhitaryan needs time to settle. Far be it for me to be telling him what to do. However, surely actually playing football will help the star settle in at United?

Mourinho needs Mkhitaryan

It’s slightly ironic that Jose Mourinho needs a player of Mkhitaryan’s talent at the moment. The Red Devils have scored just once in their last three games in all competitions. That record includes failing to score in their last two Premier League matches.

Surely a player as capable of Mkhitaryan should now be given a run out in the Premier League. The Red Devils face Fenerbahce on Thursday in the Europa League, in a game, they are odds of 13/10 to win.

It will be interesting after his team’s struggles in front of goal to see whether the Armenian is in the squad. If he is not then some serious questions need to be asked about the situation.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan for me is a very good player and if given a few games for United he will prove his worth. However, he will never ever be able to prove his worth by sitting in the stands and never being named in a matchday squad.

Should Henrikh Mkhitaryan be in United’s starting line-up for Thursday night’s game?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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