Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been reflecting on his sensational rise to prominence at Manchester United following a prolonged spell of anonymity at Old Trafford.
The Armenian, after making his first Man United start against Manchester City on September 10, had to wait until November 26 for his next start in a red shirt.
Since then, Mkhitaryan has dazzled supporters, quickly cementing himself as United’s leading creative threat under Jose Mourinho.
And the 27-year-old, speaking after United’s 3-1 win over Sunderland, was clearly keen on continuing in the same vein.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 26, 2016
As the weeks went by, with one disappointing draw seemingly following the next, it felt as if Mkhitaryan – continually left out of Mourinho’s starting XI, despite being exactly what United needed on so many occasions – would follow a path similar to Angel di Maria. Clearly talented, capable of moments of sheer brilliance, but unable to ever truly find his feet at Old Trafford.
But the Armenian didn’t give in. He could have thrown in the towel, the pressure of being a United player all too much, before moving to a glamorous European side. But he persisted, working hard every week until he finally received his chance.
And now, just a month after returning to the starting XI, Mkhitaryan finds himself at the centre of everything, clearly fundamental to Mourinho’s plans going into the new year.