Henrikh Mkhitaryan insists Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers in the world despite having been marginalised by the Manchester United boss since his move to England.
The Armenia international joined United from Borussia Dortmund in a reported £27 million move in July, but has only started in one match – the Premier League derby defeat to rivals Manchester City in September.
Mkhitaryan has struggled with a thigh injury but has also been unable to force his way into Mourinho’s plans when fit, with the former Chelsea boss criticising his substitute performance in the Europa League loss at Fenerbahce earlier this month.
But the playmaker has stressed he wants to learn from Mourinho and hailed the Portuguese’s credentials in the game.
“I know I can succeed at Manchester United and I want to show everyone that I deserve to be a key player in this team and this league,” Mkhitaryan said in an interview for the Football Federation of Armenia.
“Today I don’t have enough playing time, so I have to do my best so the coaching staff give me the chance to play.
“Regarding Jose Mourinho, I hope I can learn a lot from him – he is a coach with a fantastic record.
“It was definitely not the salary that made me join Manchester United. I went for football reasons – for the history of the club, the fans and the coach because he is one of the best in the world.”
Mkhitaryan’s attempts to find form and fitness were boosted when he played the full 90 minutes of Armenia’s 3-2 comeback victory over Montenegro in World Cup qualifying on Friday.
The 27-year-old vowed to continue fighting for his place in United’s first-team when he returns after the international break.
Mkhitaryan said: “There are no disappointments, just challenges. I never give up when I encounter obstacles in my way.
“I just continue going until I reach my career objectives. I keep working hard and this will pay off.
metimes you may have hard times during your career but you can never give up. Sometimes you have thoughts that tell you to stop, it is a natural human feeling, but it doesn’t have to push you towards quitting. You have to find the strength to overcome the bad thoughts.
“I had three very successful years in Germany with Borussia Dortmund but I had the opportunity to move to one of the biggest clubs in the highest profile league in the world.
“I was always taught by my father to challenge myself and to continue to evolve in my career and I saw the move to Manchester United as an opportunity to grow as a player and as a person.”
On his move to a new country, he added: “There is not much sun – but I didn’t move to Manchester to go to the beach! It has been relatively simple to adapt to the city because people are so friendly to me.
“It’s a dynamic city and one I like to live in – I am only missing playing time, but it will come for sure.”