When Manchester United completed the signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund this summer many fans expected immediate fireworks, however, that has not been the case. In fact, the Armenian international has barely had a chance to showcase his talents, leaving him a little bewildered, according to the Armenian FA president, Ruben Hayrapetyan.
Despite Dortmund’s best efforts, United’s insistence and Mino Raiola’s stubborn attitude paved the way for the Bundesliga Player of the Year to complete his £26.3 million move to Old Trafford in July, although due to Juan Mata’s impressive pre-season and an unfortunate injury on international duty, Mkhitaryan has not yet had a real chance to make an impact. Jose Mourinho offered his reassurance to the fans and player during his press conference ahead of last weekend’s fixture against Burnley, but the effects of that seem to be very little with a member of the Armenian FA revealing United’s number 22 is slightly confused.
“I cannot know what the Manchester manager is thinking about. I have talked with Mkhitaryan, he also doesn’t know what Jose Mourinho is thinking. Mkhitaryan trains and is in good shape but no one knows the reason why he is not playing.”
Mkhitaryan has only featured five times in total for the club this season, with four of those appearances being from the bench. The game that he forced himself into the starting eleven was the Barclay’s Premier League fixture against Manchester City, where he got taken off at half time. Regardless of Hayrapetyan’s comments and the player’s lack of appearances, there is no real reason to be majorly concerned at this point. Eventually the player will get his chance and from then onwards it will be up to him to make the most of it – if he does not, we can then shed concern and fear that the next Angel Di Maria or Shinji Kagawa is on the cards, but it is far too soon to even think about that just yet, though.
In reality, the Armenian-born star is just going through the settling in period, something that was probably set back due to his injury. Granted, Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not receive much of one and were pretty much chucked into the deep end, however some player’s cope with a new club, league and country differently to others – the manager’s treatment of them is vital to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible, Mourinho is obviously doing what he thinks is best to eventually see the Mkhitaryan that astonishingly picked up 23 goals and 32 assists in 52 games last season.
Reports have also suggested that the 27-year-old is undertaking additional training sessions separate from the rest squad to prepare himself for when he is called upon and to ensure he is ready to pounce on the opportunity when he is given one. Every United fan across the globe is no doubt eager to see the playmaker in action and if he remains injury free, continues working hard and going the extra mile to prove his worth then I am sure it is just a matter of time before we do.