Ryan Giggs has heaped praise on Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the way he has performed during the early stages of the season.
The Armenian had a mixed opening campaign at Old Trafford last year, interspersing periods of anonymity with moments of sheer brilliance.
But he has made a concrete start to the new campaign, claiming four assists in just two games having managed just one – against Leicester City, Man United’s next opponent – last year.
And Giggs, speaking on Sky Sports, was quick to praise the Armenian’s influence under Jose Mourinho so far this season.
“Henrikh Mkhitaryan already has four assists and that will do him the world of good, so hopefully he can get back to his Dortmund form.”
“There’s a lot of players contributing to goals which is crucial to winning the league. Juan Mata scores year-in-year-out, Antony Martial chipping in and when Marcus Rashford and Mkhitaryan join the party you’ve got options.”
People often forget that Mkhitaryan, following a positive spell after being reintroduced in November, encountered something of a slump during the latter stages of last season.
Aside from goals in each leg against Anderlecht, his influence was minimal – something crystallised during the Europa League final.
But then, with one smart flick, none of that mattered. Mkhitaryan’s goal against Ajax cemented United’s place in the Champions League and he has been a menacing influence ever since, clearly empowered by Nemanja Matic‘s ability to pass through the lines.
Sometimes moments like that can be catalysts for something special and perhaps we are seeing the early markings of exactly that from the 28-year-old this season.