Van Gaal Doubted Mkhitaryan’s Premier League Suitability

Football Soccer - Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund - German Cup (DFB Pokal) Final - Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany - 21/05/16. Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski and Borussia Dortmund's Henrikh Mkhitaryan watch as supporters burn flares. REUTERS/Michael Dalder DFB RULES PROHIBIT USE IN MMS SERVICES VIA HANDHELD DEVICES UNTIL TWO HOURS AFTER A MATCH AND ANY USAGE ON INTERNET OR ONLINE MEDIA SIMULATING VIDEO FOOTAGE DURING THE MATCH. - RTSFBBP

REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has only made 5 appearances for Manchester United under Jose Mourinho this season, due to injury problems, and his slow transition to Premier League football.

Reports claim that Louis Van Gaal had the chance to sign Henrikh Mkhitaryan while he was in charge of the Red Devils, however, he never made a move because he assumed that the player would not be able to cope with the physicality of the Premier League.

However, Henrikh Mkhitaryan was one of the first signings under the Jose Mourinho era, with the club cashing out close to £30 million to pry him away from Dortmund.

Mkhitaryan was expected to light up Old Trafford with his quick and tenacious style of play, but he has failed to hit the mark, and hasn’t featured under Jose Mourinho for over a month.

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He made his professional debut for Manchester United during a 2-1 FA Community Shield win over reigning Premier League Champions, Leicester City.

Mourinho is yet to play the Armenian in a full match, with most of his appearances coming off the bench.

During early September, Mkhitaryan sustained a thigh injury while on international duty, however, Jose Mourinho decided to start him during the Manchester Derby that followed a few days later.

But the playmaker failed to make any significant impact during the match, and was subsequently substituted off at half-time.

Britain Soccer Football - Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League - Old Trafford - 10/9/16 Manchester City's Aleksandar Kolarov in action with Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details. - RTSN3GP

Reuters / Carl Recine

The Armenian International was believed to be fully fit and available for selection during Manchester United’s last 3 matches (against Liverpool, Fenerbahce, and Chelsea), but it seems Jose Mourinho is still trying to allow the player to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League.

Mkhitaryan impressed at Dortmund last season, and was even voted as Bundesliga’s player of the season for the 2015/16 season.

Jose Mourinho is expected to start the 27-year-old on Wednesday, as Manchester United face their cross-town neighbours for the second time this season, in the EFL Cup.


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