Jurgen Klopp explains why he admires Henrikh Mkhitaryan

by Leo Nieboer

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise on Henrikh Mkhitaryan ahead of his side’s clash with Manchester United on Saturday, labelling the Armenian as a “fantastic player”.

The German signed Mkhitaryan from Shakhtar Donetsk back in 2013 during his time at Borussia Dortmund and the playmaker enjoyed a superb debut campaign, netting nine goals, claiming ten assists, and receiving a place in WhoScored’s Bundesliga ‘Team of the Season’.

And Klopp, speaking ahead of the clash with United, where Mkhitaryan looks set to feature at No.10, was quick to label Mkhitaryan a threat on Saturday.

“He was always a fantastic player,” he said. “Perfect attitude, mentality. He wanted to do everything right in every moment of his life. Sometimes in football you need to be a little bit different.”

“We all know that the best players in the world have a few issues. That’s okay. I’m older than a lot of players. I have made mistakes that they don’t have to make. I can tell them.”

Jose Mourinho differs from Klopp’s tactical strategy insofar as he opts for a conventional No.10, allowing Mkhitaryan to wreak havoc in the middle.

Of course, Philipe Coutinho could fulfil this role, but Klopp tends to use him as a wide player who either floats in from the flank or attacks from deep.

Mkhitaryan, on the other hand, is told to remain in that pocket of space between defence in midfield, with Juan Mata close to him and either Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial stretching play on the other side.

The watching world will look on keenly to see which talented playmaker comes out on top at Anfield.

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