Owen Hargreaves: Jose Mourinho needs to play Henrikh Mkhitaryan

by Sam Peoples

Owen Hargreaves believes Jose Mourinho has to start playing Henrikh Mkhitaryan and start getting the most out of him at Manchester United.

Mkhitaryan, 27, is yet to complete a Premier League game for Man United and has been missing with injury since his appearance against Man City in early September.

In his absence, United have struggled severely with their creativity in attack and looking forward Hargreaves feels Mkhitaryan could be the solution to our major problem going forward.

“He needs to play, I can’t believe that he’s not getting a look-in. He would be a banker in my starting XI,” he said.

“He had a slow start at Dortmund too and he was the players’ player of the year last season. He got 23 goals and 32 assists, which is staggering numbers.

“This wasn’t in a terrible league against pub teams and I can’t think of anybody who could put up those numbers besides Messi and Ronaldo. He’s a top player and we haven’t seen it yet at United.

“The thing is, he’s such a wonderful player but I think he’s also quite a sensitive guy. It would have been perfect if he started off flying with goals and assists, but the slow start has probably hit his confidence.”

When you look at United’s attack right now, it’s hard to be positive. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is out of form, our wingers are converted strikers who operate more as full-backs and our drive from midfield is almost non-existent with Paul Pogba struggling so much. For me, there is absolutely no doubt that Mkhitaryan should be starting every game when he is fit.

We’re desperately lacking that real quality matched with pace on the wing this season. While some may argue that Mkhitaryan’s best position is in the No.10 role, if him being stationed on the wings means we’ll see Rashford play more through the middle and Juan Mata start in the playmaker central role, then that in itself would be a positive thing.

I was so excited about the signing of Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund this summer because we’ve lacked a true winger with goals and assists in recent years – last season Mkhitaryan contributed directly in over 50 goals for Dortmund and he’s hardly played yet!

Things need to change at United and after a strong summer we’ve got the squad capable of doing just what we need and competing for the Premier League title. It’s now up to Jose Mourinho to make that happen.

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