Since arriving from Borussia Dortmund this summer, Henrikh Mkhitaryan has had to wait for his opportunity to impress at Manchester United.
In truth, when he was given the chance by Jose Mourinho, the Armenian star had done little to show he was worth the £27 million spent to bring him to Old Trafford. That was until his breakout performance against Feyenoord on Thursday night.
Six shots, two key passes, 100% percent of tackles won, and 55 completed passes in total made for a brilliant individual performance in United's 4-0 Europa League win. However, whilst Red Devils supporters are excited at what they've seen, Jose Mourinho has laid down a challenge to Mkhitaryan if he wants to win a regular place in the starting XI.
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Speaking after United's comfortable home win, Mourinho praised Mkhitaryan but appeared to suggest the 27-year-old still has some work to do to convince his manager that he can make an impact on a weekly basis.
"He needs now to replicate this kind of performance in the Premier League," the Portuguese explained, via the Manchester Evening News.
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"The Europa League is different, he needs one more step and it gives him the right to believe he can play in the next match and play with more physicality, more aggression.
"But he has the quality and that is why we bought him."
Mkhitaryan's performance - highlighted by a memorable dribble past no less than four Feyenoord players - was the major talking point after the game.
Having finally seen him at his influential best, there are plenty of United fans who now want to see the Armenian given an extended run in the first team.
However, it sounds like Mourinho's long-standing concerns about Mkhitaryan's lack of physicality continue to work against the former Dortmund star.
Of course, the only way he can convince his manager that he can handle the tough environment of Premier League football is to play Premier League football on a regular basis.
Mkhitaryan's efforts against Feyenoord have, at least, put him in a good position to start when United return to domestic action against West Ham on Sunday.
If he can rise to the challenge set by his manager and bring his Europa League form into the Premier League then it could be exactly what the Red Devils need as they look to improve their inconsistent domestic form.
Man Utd fans: Would Mkhitaryan get in your perfect United XI? Have your say in the comments below...
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