At a club like Manchester United, which is perpetually brimming with talented individuals eager to make a mark, it is easy to understand why certain players might have to sit out games and await their chances.
But when this occurs for an individual that has a run of bad games and is in the midst of a form-shy slump, one does begin to ask questions.
This is precisely the case for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who made an electric start to his season at Manchester United by providing five assists and scoring a goal, and was hailed to be the reason behind the revival of the English giants.
However, in the months since, the Armenian has fallen considerably from the pecking order, and hasn’t been deployed for a worrying run of games.
And now, Jose Mourinho has finally given the reason as to why the former Borussia Dortmund man has had to sit out matches, and it isn’t one that the player will like.
The Portuguese stated: “I can only have six [outfield] players on the bench and I try to have some balance on the bench. I had two defenders and [Daley] Blind who can play in different areas.
“I had Ashley Young to cover me all the wings and the wing-back position. I had [Ander] Herrera as a midfield player, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] as a striker and Marcus [Rashford] as a second striker and winger.”
As of such, it seems clear where Mourinho was going with things, when he added: “I played [Anthony] Martial, [Juan] Mata and [Jesse] Lingard in the team. To have Mkhi means that I don’t have one of them and, in this moment, I believe the other ones they deserve [the chance to play].”
This is indeed a selection dilemma of great proportions, as the other talents named are some of the best that the Red Devils have got at the moment. As of such, Mkhitaryan seems severely surplus to requirement, and might be on his way out when the transfer window opens come January.
Written by Naveen Kelvin
A writer trying to craft the poetry within football. Purpose in life is to Make Good Art.