Henrikh Mkhitaryan was left out of yet another match day squad in the league when the Red Devils faced Bournemouth, thereby casting doubts over his future at Old Trafford.
Jose Mourinho has not included the Armenian international in seven of his last eight match day team sheets. Many expected Mkhitaryan to be included in the squad post the derby loss, but his significant absence has further increased speculation about his future.
Jose Mourinho, however, had an explanation for this. The Portuguese had the luxury of having seven substitutes, of which two slots went to defenders – Lindelof and Blind.
The full-back spot on the bench was filled in the form Ashley Young, a midfielder in Ander Herrera, two strikers in Rashford and Zlatan, and a reserve goalkeeper in Romero – all of whom are in top form.
After a severe dip in the form that saw Mkhitaryan start the season with five assists, Mourinho admitted that to have the playmaker on the bench would be unfair on the ones who are playing well already.
Moreover, with a good showing by Juan Mata against the Cherries, Jose would not be tempted to recall the out-of-sorts star back into the squad.
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson attributes Mkhitaryan’s failure on Paul Pogba’s prolonged absence due to his hamstring injury, but admits that he would be surprised to not see the 28-year-old leave United in the January transfer window.
Henrikh would, however, expect himself to be included in the squad when United travel to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
Written by Sourish Saha
Law graduate by degree, pursued football business masters from Brussels, Belgium. Sports enthusiast. Love reading articles to do with politics and sports. In my free time, I like to cook some times, or watch travel shows on television. Opinionated about football but flexible and open to constructive criticism.