Henrikh Mkhitaryan has opened up about his relationship with Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, expressing his desire to appeal to the manager’s emphasis on hard work.
The Armenian begun life at Old Trafford on the periphery, spending almost three months on the sidelines, but quickly established himself as an important component of Mourinho’s side.
He has made an impressive start to pre-season, claiming two goals and an assist in his opening two games against LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake City.
And the 28-year-old, when asked about the manager, noted that he would continue to give everything for the Portuguese ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.
“He always tried to find the best for the player and he’s always looking to the players to see if they are working very hard and that’s what I’m doing,” he said.
“I’m working hard and I’m doing my best to show him that I’m ready to play.”
There is a particular theme starting to emerge from Mkhitaryan’s performances at Man United, and it has a distinct smell of Mourinho’s influence.
His display in both the Europa League final and against Salt Lake are potent examples: running hard, largely ineffective, and yet somehow coming out with an important goal – a fitting microcosm of Mourinho’s renowned capacity for appearing ostensibly unattractive and moot but somehow successful at the end.
This is hardly what the football aesthete wants to hear, but supporters will be desperate to see it continue into next season.