Henrikh Mkhitaryan has opened up about his exile at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho, insisting he was not going to give in.
The Armenian, who arrived at Old Trafford in July, has only made one start under Mourinho – all the way back on September 10.
Mkhitaryan didn’t feature again until he was thrown into the fray in Istanbul with his side 2-0 down and desperately lacking any attacking verve.
However, despite his inexplicable exclusion from the first-team squad, Mkhitaryan has expressed his determination to reassert himself on the starting XI.
“It’s true that I get little time on the field, but I am not going to give in,” he said.
“I went a long way to play in Manchester United, so nothing will prevent me from achieving my dream.
“I will not retreat. I will find the strength to reach my goal.”
Mourinho specifically went after Mkhitaryan in the summer. This side, above anything, needed some creative zeal, a player that could split defences open with passes that nobody else could see, and the 27-year-old promised to bring exactly that. Last year’s Bundesliga Player of the Year, coming to Manchester after recording 32 assists for Borussia Dortmund last season: Man United fans expected fireworks.
And yet, to everyone’s surprise and disappointment, Mourinho has not handed Mkhitaryan the chance to impress that he deserves. This a truly special player at the 53-year-old’s disposal but he runs the risk of alienating – and therefore ruining – the midfielder to an irreversible extent.