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Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan sends strong message to Jose Mourinho

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Only Jose Mourinho would spend £26 million on a world-class playmaker and barely use him.

That's the situation Henrikh Mkhitaryan finds himself in following his big-money move to Manchester United in the summer transfer window.

Since joining the Red Devils, the 27-year-old has played just 107 minutes' worth of Premier League football and made six appearances in all competitions.

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Injuries certainly haven't helped, but Mourinho's sheer reluctance to play Mkhitaryan - even when fully fit - is clearly holding a damaging effect.

Indeed, what we've seen from the former Borussia Dortmund star isn't the same player who scored 11 goals and made 15 assists in the Bundesliga last season.

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In Mourinho's opinion, Mkhitaryan hasn't done enough during his short stay at United to warrant a starting role, despite the fact he's been training alone recently.

Following last week's defeat to Fenerbahce in the Europa League, the Portuguese said: "[Mkhitaryan] has to do more. It's as simple as that.

"We have big expectations at this club, lots of players for these positions.

"He has to play better than [Juan] Mata, [Jesse] Lingard, [Anthony] Martial - he has to play better than them. It's as simple as that."

Manchester United v Southampton - Premier League

Such criticism would make most players want to just give up - but not Mkhitaryan.

The winger was recently appointed Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF in Armenia and, when asked about his situation at United, he sent Mourinho a pretty strong message.

"It's true that I get little time on the field, but I am not going to give in," he said, per the Press Association's Simon Peach.

"I went a long way to play [for] Manchester United, so nothing will prevent me from achieving my dream.

"I will not retreat. I will find the strength to reach my goal."

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

Mourinho recently explained how Mkhitaryan is 100% fit, too, raising further questions as to what exactly the Portuguese's problem is.

"He is not injured," he told United's official website. "Sometimes I confuse the word 'fit' in the English language.

"Sometimes you can say that it is 'not injured', but you could also say that you are in great condition and ready to compete. That is different for me as we use different words in Portuguese for the different situations.

"Mkhitaryan is not injured, he is training with the team 100 per cent."

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Paul Pogba
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
Football
Premier League
Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League
Jose Mourinho

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