Henrikh Mkhitaryan has revealed he has been told by Jose Mourinho he is not guaranteed games at Manchester United this season.
The Armenian scored 23 goals and managed 32 assists in all competitions last season with Borussia Dortmund, attracting interest from a number of clubs before choosing Old Trafford as his next destination.
Mkhitaryan has made a positive start to his Manchester United career: the 27-year-old ran riot against Wigan Athletic and netted his side’s only goal against Dortmund.
But despite being in the form of his life, Mkhitaryan told the Telegraph that is by no means guaranteed a constant run of games at Man United.
“It doesn’t matter what they bought me for, I am not guaranteed to play the games,” he said.
“So I am trying to do my best to earn this place to play.”
For a side that desperately lacked in creativity and zip last season, Mkhitaryan is the perfect antidote. So to hear that the 27-year-old’s place in the starting XI isn’t assured is somewhat surprising.
That said, as an attacking midfielder who can play both No.10 and out wide, the Armenian does face stiff competition from all corners. At No.10, he will have to compete with the seemingly undroppable Wayne Rooney, alongside Juan Mata and Ander Herrera. On the left hand side, he’ll have to compete with the effervescent Anthony Martial, as well as Memphis Depay and Ashley Young.
Make no mistake, Mkhitaryan will have his work cut out cementing his place in a side blessed with so many attacking options. But if the Armenian can replicate the form that saw him receive the Bundesliga Player of the Year award last season, he’ll be practically irreplaceable.