Football

What Henrikh Mkhitaryan did to persuade Jose Mourinho to start playing him again

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan has had to be patient for his chance at Manchester United but his performances over the last few weeks have shown why he was voted the Bundesliga's Player of the Season for 2015/16.

His first Premier League start came in the Manchester derby defeat back in September but Mkihitaryan's lack of experience in English football was exposed and he was hooked off at the interval.

That prompted Jose Mourinho to take the drastic action of effectively exiling the Armenian from first team action for two months, which caused some fans to even question whether he had a future at the club.

But Mkhitaryan has since impressed upon his reintroduction to the side during the Red Devils' last four matches and many pundits have been questioning why he wasn't involved for so long.

Well, according to The Sun, after recovering from an initial thigh strain, the 27-year-old put in an incredible effort to prove to Mourinho he would be able to cut it in the English top flight.

The Sun claim Mkhitaryan hit the gym on a regular basis - including on his days off and at weekends - to put on 6lbs worth of muscle.

The ex-Borussia Dortmund star isn't the first big name to have struggled with the physical demands of the Premier League but his desire to do everything possible to get back into his manager's thinking has certainly made an impression.

"United have kept close tabs and the feeling is his extra strength will be a huge bonus to him," an unnamed Man United source told The Sun.

"He impressed with his commitment and surprised them by coming in to pump some iron and get more running into his legs."

Despite his reintroduction into the team, Mourinho and co. have continued to struggle to turn their Premier League form around.

The Red Devils have won just once in the league since September and Sunday's 1-1 draw with Everton has kept them nine points behind the top four.

Topics:
Football
Premier League
Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Manchester United
Jose Mourinho

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