Mkhitaryan performances in the last two Man United wins – 3-0 over Leicester City and 2-0 over Watford – have both come with the Armenian playing in the No.10 role and he’s shone in those fixtures, particularly Leicester where his breakaway goal gave United the crucial first goal.
Away at Leicester United started in a 4-4-2 but didn’t start playing properly until Mourinho changed to 4-3-3, allowing Mkhitaryan to play in the No.10 position. Neville feels that change has transformed Mkhitaryan.
Speaking on Monday Night Football, Neville said: “Mkhitaryan went to No.10 against Leicester the previous week and I think that introduction has been fantastic. And now with Rashford, Mata, Martial in the wide areas, there seems to be a balance there.
“Pogba went a little deeper alongside Herrera, but they look like they’re penetrating again and doing things you would expect a Manchester United team to do.”
It’s easy to see that Mkhitaryan’s best position is in the No.10 role. Ever since he came off the bench against Hull City away from home and burst through the middle with his pace, I’ve been wanting to see him play in that role more often.
Mkhitaryan’s pace is the game changer and what makes him so different to any other player at No.10. Juan Mata is excellent but his tempo is slower and Paul Pogba is better in a midfield three rather than specifically in the No.10 position. Mourinho utilising that is definitely a big reason why our football has improved and continues to get better.
He’s a special player and United are now reaping the rewards of signing a player who contributed to over 50 goals for Borussia Dortmund last season. If Mourinho can keep him fit and playing that No.10 role regularly, he’ll easily become one of the best players in the Premier League in that position.