EPL 2016-17: Owen Hargreaves "can't believe" that Henrikh Mkhitaryan is not starting for Manchester United
Former Manchester United midfielder, Owen Hargreaves says he cannot understand how the club's new recruit, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is not starting every game. Despite having moved to Old Trafford only this summer, it seems the midfielder's future at Man United is in doubt.
Mkhitaryan last played for the Red Devils in the local derby against Manchester City on 10 September. Following an injury layoff, the Armenian midfielder was fit for selection for their previous two games but failed to even make the bench for Jose Mourinho’s squad.
The 27-year-old was in brilliant form for Borussia Dortmund last season as he notched up 11 goals and 15 assists in the Bundesliga leading to a £26 million move to Man Untied in the summer. Since then, he has made only one start and has had three appearances from the bench.
“He needs to play, I can’t believe that he’s not getting a look-in. He would be a banker in my starting XI. He had a slow start at Dortmund too and he was the Players’ Player of the Year last season. He got 23 goals and 32 assists, which is staggering numbers,” Hargreaves told Squawka.
With United's form not being very impressive at the moment, it is obvious that Mourinho is yet to find his strongest playing XI. After a resolute showing against high-flying Liverpool at Anfield, Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge ended in a 4-0 humbling at the hands of Antonio Conte's Chelsea.
Hargreaves felt that the Armenian is yet to show his true potential and believes that Mourinho has to find a way to fit him in with the other stars in the Red Devils’ lineup.
“For me, you have to play the players that can help you win the league. There is a way to get Mkhitaryan, [Paul] Pogba, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, [Anthony] Martial and [Marcus] Rashford in the same team and United could be frightening if these guys all clicked,” he noted.
After nine games in the English Premier League, United sit at seventh in the table, six points off joint leaders, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool. They will play city rivals, Manchester City on Wednesday in the English Football League (EFL) Cup Round of 16 fixture.
It remains to be seen whether Mourinho will go with his usual playing XI or give opportunities to players like Mkhitaryan and Wayne Rooney, who has also fallen out of favour following a dip in form. Either way, the manager will have to make important decisions and find his best starting XI before Man United are out of the title race.