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Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Five times Henrikh Mkhitaryan reminded everyone he is really good at football

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Although most of the talk concerning Jose Mourinho's Manchester United team selections has focussed on Wayne Rooney's move to the bench over the past month or so, arguably the bigger story has been the mysterious absence of Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Signed for around £27 million in the summer after an excellent season with Borussia Dortmund that saw him named the Bundesliga Player of the Year, the Armenian was expected to bring a new edge to United's attack this year.

Instead, after fleeting appearances early in the campaign as well as a couple of nagging injuries, the 27-year-old hasn't played a minute for United since September's derby defeat to Manchester City. He wasn't even in the squad for the most recent clash between the two rivals this past Tuesday.

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So, as United fans grow increasingly frustrated at Mourinho's apparent reluctance to give Mkhitaryan a chance, we thought it was important to remind everyone just what a talented footballer he really is.

Here are five moments from the recent past where Mkhitaryan has proven that, despite what one Portuguese manager might think, he is actually really quite good at football...

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5) Clinical finish

Mkhitaryan may have arrived in the Premier League with a reputation as a man who lays on chances for his teammates at will but, when given the opportunity, he isn't bad at finding the net himself.

He managed 23 goals in his three years at Dortmund, but the below effort against Hannover last season has to be the pick of the bunch. 

Outside the box. First time hit. Precision finish. 'Keeper no chance. They don't get much better...

4) Pace and composure

With the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in their ranks, United do have plenty of pacey players to choose from. 

But Mkhitaryan is no slouch himself and, unlike the two youngsters ahead of him in the pecking order just now, he also has the experience that often means a cool head when it comes to picking the right option. When he combines both, it is almost unstoppable.

Exhibit A - a lung-busting run against Schalke in 2015 followed by an inch-perfect assist.

3) Running the show

For a United fan, few things beat seeing Liverpool taught a footballing lesson.

So, whilst the Merseyside club ultimately beat Mkhitaryan's Dortmund in last season's Europa league quarter-final, the Armenian's individual performance would have left them with smiles on their faces.

2) All-rounder

Mkhitaryan may be known best for his ability to pick out a pass - or the back of the net - with his right foot.

But the United star has shown plenty of times in the past that he isn't simply a one-trick pony. 

His left foot strike against Frankfurt would rank high in amongst most left-footed player's best goals. 

Oh, and he isn't bad with his head either...

1) Early promise

While he hasn't been given much opportunity to show what he can do since arriving at Old Trafford, Mkhitaryan's skills haven't completely deserted him since the move.

Going back just a few months to his United debut in a pre-season game against Wigan and the 27-year-old had Red Devils supporters excited after a trick-laded performance against the Latics.

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Paul Pogba
Football
Premier League
Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Juan Mata
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League

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