Former Monaco and France forward Youri Djorkaeff believes that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will excel at Manchester United next season.
The Armenian found himself consigned to the sidelines for almost three months during the early stages of his first campaign at Old Trafford and was reintroduced to the starting XI in December, going on to claim important goals against Zorya Luhansk and Tottenham Hotspur.
He then put the cherry on Man United’s season by claiming the crucial second – and final – goal during his side’s 2-0 win over Ajax in the Europa League final.
And Djorkaeff, speaking on Sky Sports, noted that he would go on to achieve even greater things in his second season at Old Trafford.
“I have known Henrikh’s family for a long, long time,” he said.
“We have always been connected. They are very, very good people and I often see them when I’m in Armenia. It’s important because there aren’t many of us. We have to support each other.
“He raised his level throughout the season. He developed very well for both Manchester United and for himself. With the confidence of how he finished the season and after a year of learning the league and the club, I’m sure he will be at the top.”
It would be reasonable to say that Mkhitaryan’s first season at United, with all things considered, was a mixed bag: moments of game changing brilliance often punctuated by smells of anonymity, most notably in the build-up to the Europa League final.
In fact, out of anybody in that starting XI, the 28-year-old was probably the weakest link in Stockholm, but nobody will remember that. He has quickly asserted himself as the master of decisive – and often isolated – contributions at Old Trafford, yet he will be aware of the importance of consistency, of turning on the magic on a more regular basis, next season when the stakes and standards are higher.