Jose Mourinho insists Manchester United’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan is not a forgotten man and is still adapting to life in English football.
United manager Mourinho has to contend with concerns over the fitness of Wayne Rooney, Chris Smalling and Anthony Martial ahead of the home Premier League clash with Burnley this weekend.
And with Eric Bailly out for eight weeks and Marcus Rashford a doubt, the Old Trafford chief may have to choose between Mkhitaryan and Michael Carrick for a midfield berth.
The latter did a fine job in the 1-0 win over rivals Manchester City in the EFL Cup at Old Trafford midweek.
And Mourinho said: “The same way everybody wanted to play against City because of such a big defeat the match before, it’s the same for this game”.
“Everyone wants to play now for different reasons, everybody wants to play now because they’re happy and they’re confident. Little problems we have but little problems we will fight against.”
Mourinho says he may well have been misunderstood in describing the £26million recruit Mkhitaryan as unfit, when quizzed on his absence from first team action.
He said: “He’s not injured. Sometimes I confuse the meaning of fit in the English language. He is training with the team 100 per cent”.
“Some players are adapted to come and play, some others, they need more time. Time to feel the intensity and the aggression, the game without the ball, the competitiveness”.
“Many times players come from different countries. The style of football is different and the reality is different for sure in terms of competitiveness. There’s no other country where it doesn’t matter the team you play against, you have to play at the highest level. If you don’t you have no chance. Mikhi needs time to become the top player he can be.”