Paul Pogba may have hogged all the headlines for becoming the most expensive signing in all the history of the modern game, but the arrival of Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund was equally welcome with clamor and fanfare.
With 23 goals and a further 26 assists last season, the prospect of having the Armenian creating goal scoring chances for the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Zlatan Ibrahimovic was simply luscious and mouthwatering.
Until his start against Feyenoord in the Europa League however, Micki had only previously made one start: the 2-1 loss to Manchester City.
Mourinho’s treatment of Mkhitaryan has often caused uproar among online United supporters, with many questioning his sanity and selection criteria.
As such, here are three possible explanations why Mkhitaryan has been scarcely used by Mourinho:
Plethora of talent
One reason why Mkhitaryan has, by and large, faced long spells on the touchlines because Manchester United has an overwhelming plethora of talent in the attacking midfield role.
Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Wayne Rooney and Pogba can all play in the supportive role behind the striker, posing a headache for the Man United boss.
But then again, Jose Mourinho knew all this when he signed Micki from the Dortmund, didn’t he?
Hasn’t adapted to the rigors of the PL
The Premier League is the most intense, physically demanding first division compared to the rest of the top five Leagues in Europe.
Even legend has it that Lionel Messi wouldn’t be able to do it on a cold, windy Wednesday in Stoke.
Neither the tallest nor the most physically endowed, Mkhitaryan has been greatly maligned because he hasn’t fully adapted to the high intensity and demands of the English game.
Furthermore, competition for places with regular starters like Mata and Rooney haven’t made it any easier.
Doesn’t need him
Although there is no credible source to support the claims, it’s been said that Mourinho only signed Mkhitaryan in order to waylay Arsene Wenger who had earlier declared interest on the Armenian wizard, and had seemingly tabled an offer for the attacker.
This could have a pinch of truth in it since Mourinho [in 2013 while at Chelsea] blocked Demba Ba’s switch to Arsenal at the very last minute, opting to send the Senegalese to Besiktas instead.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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