Henrikh Mkhitaryan is already becoming a fan favourite at Old Trafford and should he continue to impress like he did against Hull City yesterday, it may not be too long before we see the Armenian skipper named in Jose Mourinho’s starting eleven.
With the game deadlocked at 0-0 Mkhitaryan was introduced on the hour mark replacing Anthony Martial and the Armenians immediate impact on the field proved to be the turning point for United as the reds went on to snatch a late 1-0 victory.
Prior to the Hull City game fans had already called for Mkhitaryan to be named in Mourinho’s starting eleven. After this fantastic display the Portuguese will now find it increasingly difficult to leave out the Armenian out of the Manchester United side.
Mkhitaryan though, what a silky mover, got to start the derby
— Muki Bains (@mukibains) August 27, 2016
The game changed for the better when Mkhitaryan and Rashford came on. Mkhitaryan *has* to start next week. No excuses.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) August 27, 2016
Mkhitaryan has made a huge difference. Has to start against City now.
— Adam Sweeney (@AdamWSweeney) August 27, 2016
That run from Mkhitaryan is what a No.10 should do. Rooney can’t do that anymore.
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) August 27, 2016
That thrust Mkhitaryan gave to our game when he came in >>>>>>>>
— ❌ (@DaddyDayo_) August 27, 2016
Mkhitaryan was tremendous. His running was electric alongside the ever-blazing Rashford. #MUFC
— Rob (@kalyangoR) August 27, 2016
The 27-year-old has yet to start a game in the league for his new boss thus far but with vital upcoming games against Manchester City, Watford and Leicester City all to come next month, Mkhitaryan may not have to wait much longer before he his finally named amongst Mourinho’s starting eleven.
In the space of little under half an hour Mkhitaryan shown United exactly why he has to be in the Manchester United team. His creativeness on the ball combined with his excellent link up play makes him one of the finest attacking midfielders in today’s game. His ability to not alone make goals but score them too could prove a valuable asset in Mourinho’s bid to bring the league title back to Old Trafford for the first time in three years.
Should Mkhitaryan be called into the side, it may be Wayne Rooney who makes way for the Armenian. Having disappointed so far in United’s opening league fixtures, Rooney will be the one who feels his place in the team will be under most threat.
Despite setting up Marcus Rashford’s winner yesterday, Rooney has struggled to make a real impact so far this season, looking a shadow of the player he was. Rooney is admittedly heading towards the latter stages of his footballing career and whilst the fans expect do not expect word class performances every week, they still expect to see a degree of quality from him on the pitch and the Old Trafford faithful haven’t seen that often enough from him for the past three years now.
With Manchester City next to come on September 10th at Old Trafford it will no doubt be interesting to see what Mourinho does. Will he keep the Armenian on the bench or will he hand him a first start? After that performance yesterday, I suspect he will do the latter.