Football

Henrikh Mkhitaryan re-found his best form under Thomas Tuchel last campaign.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan opens up about "disaster' campaign under Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan's career at Manchester United hasn't come with all the bells and whistles he had expected when he arrived at Old Trafford back in July.

The Armenia international has made just nine appearances for the Red Devils in all competitions - after being signed by Jose Mourinho - and has struggled to find an opportunity to prove his worth to the Portuguese.

However, it's not the first time in the 27-year-old's career that he has had to rise from adversity and remind his manager what he is truly capable of.

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The attacking midfielder endured a torrid second season with Borussia Dortmund, in which the club drastically failed to challenge their biggest rivals, Bayern Munich, for the Bundesliga title - finishing the season in seventh.

But while Mkhitaryan's personal woes may have been masked by the overall crisis that loomed over now Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund side, the player has revealed that "disaster" campaign troubled him deeply.

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As per the Mirror, Mkhitaryan revealed the extent in which his drastic dip in form - following a impressive debut campaign at the Westfalenstadion - left him in a depressed stake thinking over his on-pitch troubles and not wanting to leave his house.

"It was a very hard period for me. The first season was O.K, but the second season was a disaster, not only for me, but also for the club." said Mkhitaryan.

Pressure

"We were losing so much, and I felt like I was having no luck. Not only was I not scoring, but I was not assisting, which is very unlike me. I had been signed for a lot of money, and I put a lot of pressure on myself.

"I had many hard nights in my apartment in Dortmund, all alone, just thinking and thinking. I didn’t want to go outside, even to have dinner.”

Having registered nine goals and ten assists in his first season, the Armenian followed it up with just three goals in the following campaign, as Dortmund shockingly fought relegation at one stage in the season.

Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final: Second Leg

Mkhitaryan was feeling the weight of expectation on his shoulders; having become Klopp's first choice number 10 following the departure of Mario Gotze to Bayern Munich. And clearly the former Dortmund star felt he was not living up to the £23.6 million fee BVB had paid Shakhtar Donetsk.

But Thomas Tuchel, who took over following Klopp's departure in 2015 and has since been tipped by former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola as a coach with great potential, managed to re-find Mkhitaryan's form that earned him his move to North Rhine in the first place.

Tuchel's support

And Mkhitaryan didn't hold back his admiration for the Dortmund manager, adding: "Thomas Tuchel came to Dortmund before my third season, and he changed everything for me.

"He came to me and said, 'Listen, I want to get everything out of you. He looked at me very seriously, and said, 'Micki, you are going to be great.’

"That meant everything to me. After the season I had, I didn’t think I could be a star. But he did it.

"He got everything out of me that season, and it was because I was happy again."

Manchester United v West Ham United - EFL Cup Quarter-Final

And the 43-year-old's work with Mkhitaryan paid off as the club returned to the top two in the Bundesliga - albeit 10 points short of champions Bayern - and saw the Armenian win the Bundesliga Player of the Season after scoring 11 goals and providing 15 assists last campaign.

It was that form that earned him a big move to United in the summer, and undoubtedly a fair number of Red Devils fans would like to remind Mourinho of what it was the made him sign the attacking midfielder from Dortmund in the first place.

But while there are calls for Mourniho to start featuring Mkhitaryan more regularly in the Premier League - after showing promising signs in his most recent performances - the former Dortmund star has proved he has the mental strength to overcome the tough periods in his career.

Mkhitaryan will come up against his former Dortmund boss next month, when Liverpool head to Old Trafford, but will hope Mourinho can have the impact that Tuchel had on his career, rather than that of Klopp, who will be in the opposition dugout.

Will Henrikh Mkhitaryan's second season at Borussia Dortmund help him to get through his current testing period at Manchester United? Have your say in the comment box below.

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Topics:
Bundesliga
Football
Premier League
Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Marco Reus
Manchester United
Jose Mourinho
Borussia Dortmund

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