Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes that Henrikh Mkhitaryan eclipses Mesut Ozil and David Silva due to his extraordinary pace going forward.
The Armenian, deployed in the No.10 role, stunned the King Power Stadium on Sunday with a superb solo-effort that saw him burst through the heart of Leicester City’s back four before firing past Kasper Schmeichel.
He continued to wreak havoc as the game went on, producing a seemingly endless stream of powerful runs and smart turns at the axis of Man United’s attack.
And Carragher, speaking after the game, claimed that Mkhitaryan’s superb pace places him ahead of Ozil and Silva.
“He’s got something that very few players in that position have, which is pace,” Carragher said.
“You think of Juan Mata, Mesut Ozil, David Silva – great technicians – but they don’t have that pace. And I think that was vital in the first goal.”
Nothing about Mkhitaryan’s demeanour suggests that he could succeed in the Premier League: a diminutive, relatively skinny figure, with an almost slumped standing pose and heavy-footed walk.
But then he sets off, and suddenly an array of blue shirts are frantically chasing after this supersonic red blur, falling further and further behind until, out of nowhere, he’s wheeling off to celebrate.
Sun Tzu once said that, to be a successful warrior, one must “appear weak when they are strong,” and Mkhitaryan’s style serves as a fitting testament to this ancient snippet of advice.