Why Henrikh Mkhitaryan Keeps Getting Left Out, Jose Mourinho Explains

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Manchester United attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been left out of seven of the last eight matchday squads, and he hasn’t seen the pitch since November 25th.

Mkhitaryan came on as a substitute in that contest, a 1-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion. The Armenian national team captain, brought over from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2016, the second transfer buy of the Jose Mourinho era, got off to a slow start at Old Trafford, but eventually started to settle in.

HENRIK-MKHITARYAN

That’s all been wiped out now, as Mkhitaryan isn’t even being granted a seat on the bench. It’s not at the same level as Bastian Schweinsteiger last season, of course, but it feels like a freezing out nonetheless. Mkhitaryan has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, and rumors continue to swirl about United picking up a new winger to replace him.

Ivan Perisic and Gareth Bale are the two names that continue to resurface. Mourinho did nothing to squelch the Mkhitaryan departure rumors, as he explained why he currently has no room for the Armenian.

“I can only have six [outfield] players on the bench and I try to have some balance on the bench – I had two defenders and [Daley] Blind who can play in different areas,” Mourinho said after the 1-0 win over A.F.C. Bournemouth today.

“I had Ashley Young to cover me all of the wing and the wing-back position.”

“I had [Ander] Herrera as a midfield player, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] as a striker and Marcus [Rashford] as a second striker and winger. I played [Anthony] Martial, [Juan] Mata and [Jesse] Lingard in the team.”

“To have Micki means that I don’t have one of them and, in this moment, I believe the other ones they deserve [the chance to play].”

christmas man united old trafford

It is the festive period, and with that we have fixture congestion. Lots of players will need their rest, due to work overload, and that means chances for bench warmers, including Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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