To say that Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s Manchester United career hasn’t panned as out as expected would be something of an understatement.
Jose Mourinho didn’t pay £26.9 million for the playmaker to play in just six out of a possible 18 matches.
Six appearances is being kind to the Armenian, too. He’s started just one game this season and came on the the 92nd minute in the Community Shield win against Leicester City.
The United boss excused Mkhitaryan’s slow start to life in England, saying that he simply needs time to adapt and will soon come good.
“Mkhitaryan is not injured, he is training with the team 100 per cent,” Mourinho said last month, via the club’s official website.
“Some players find it very easy whereas others need more time. They need time to feel the intensity, the aggression, the game without the ball and the competitiveness.
"Micki needs time to become the top player he knows he can be."
Mkhitaryan is wanted by a familiar face
Having seen his side stutter in the Premier League of late, it’s odd that Mourinho is reluctant to play Mkhitaryan simply because he isn’t used to English football. United need a spark right now, and the former Shakhtar Donetsk man can certainly provide it.
We’ll get an idea of Mourinho’s actual opinion of the player in January, and whether he accepts a reported approach from Mkhitaryan’s old side, Borussia Dortmund.
According to Steve Bates of the Sunday People, the Bundesliga outfit want to rescue Mkhitaryan from Old Trafford by signing him on loan in the winter transfer window.
Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel, as well as CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke and general manager Michael Zorc, are said to be shocked by the midfielder’s free-fall in Manchester.
Mkhitaryan was a revelation in Germany last season, scoring 23 goals and recording 32 assists in all competitions. So it’s no surprise that Dortmund, who are fifth in the table, six points behind Bayern Munich, are ready to take him back, similarly to how they did with Shinji Kagawa.
He wants to make it work at United
But reuniting with Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng, Marco Reus and co. might not be in Mkhitaryan’s plans. He recently stressed his desire to make things work at United.
“It is true that I get little time on the field, but I am not going to give in,” he told reporters, via The Guardian. “I went a long way to play in Manchester United, so nothing will prevent me from achieving my dream.
“I will not retreat, I will find the strength to reach my goal.”