Jose Mourinho has expressed his delight with the way Henrikh Mkhitaryan has progressed at Manchester United this season.
The Armenian, who arrived at the club back in July, endured a difficult start to life at Old Trafford that saw him miss out on a place in the starting XI for over two months.
He finally received a chance to impress during a 4-0 win over Feyenoord back in late November, and has since gone on to produce a series of mesmerising performances under Mourinho.
And the 53-year-old, speaking after the game, was quick to heap praise on the way Mkhitaryan had progressed this season.
“Since he came into the team, we and Micki himself thought he was ready,” he said.
“He had a good impact immediately, then he had a break with the injury against Tottenham, and then he came back and played quite well, so we are happy with him.”
Watching Mkhitaryan glide across the pitch against Hull, boasting his normal cabaret of neat touches and penetrating runs, it feels strange to think that, not so long ago, the Armenian couldn’t even break into the match-day squad.
But the 28-year-old, more than almost anybody at Old Trafford, had to struggle and fight his way back into the first team. Every game missed would be a chance to analyse and absorb Mourinho’s set-up, a chance to learn more about the English game until he finally received his opportunity to impress – something he continues to grab with both hands.