Manchester United fans were left unimpressed by Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s display following their side’s 4-1 pre-season defeat to Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai on Friday night.
The 27-year-old was an effervescent force in the No.10 role against Wigan Athletic last Saturday but was moved out wide for the clash with Dortmund.
In challenging conditions against a strong side, Mkhitaryan was unable to exert any kind of impact from out wide during the first half.
Man United fans were evidently disappointed with the Armenian’s inertia on the left hand side, with many calling for his reinstatement to the No.10 role.
Mkhitaryan needs to be put central. Mata has done nothing and Lingard is a waste of space. Blind and Herrera together not very good at all
— Anti 5 man defences (@Chilled_DJ) July 22, 2016
Haven't noticed Mkhitaryan in the game at all. Attacking midfield 3 haven't got into the game yet
— Dazzmondo (@Dazzmondo95) July 22, 2016
Mkhitaryan is wasted on the left wing
— 🤡🤫 (@Mufc20Packers4) July 22, 2016
The function of pre-season is not to pick up results, but rather to see what works and what doesn’t with regard to shape and personnel within the side. And in that sense, the game against Dortmund was beneficial for Jose Mourinho.
It was clear from the very outset that Mkhitaryan had a lack of attacking scope whilst shunted out to the left. Very rarely was he able to assert himself on his former side’s defence; receiving the ball out wide, with little space to run into and a lack of attacking options in front of him, the 27-year-old was unable to exert his usual influence.
Mourinho, as a result, will have a better grasp of where Mkhitaryan is most effectual.