What is Happening With Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Manchester United?

Mkhitaryan celebrating after scoring his side’s third goal during a match between Manchester United and Sunderland on Dec. 26, 2016. (Photo: Rui Vieira/Associated Press)
Mkhitaryan celebrating after scoring his side’s third goal during a match between Manchester United and Sunderland on Dec. 26, 2016. (Photo: Rui Vieira/Associated Press)

Mkhitaryan celebrating after scoring his side’s third goal during a match between Manchester United and Sunderland on Dec. 26, 2016. (Photo: Rui Vieira/Associated Press)

Special to Asbarez

In light of our favorite Armenian soccer player’s recent plight, many have jumped to conclusions and speculation has run rampant across both the footballing and Armenian communities.

Conjecture aside, it is evident that Henrikh Mkhitaryan has fallen out of favor with Manchester United’s manager Jose Mourinho, having been absent from the 18-man roster in eight of the last nine matches.

With the January transfer window nearly approaching, there has been much talk of whether the Armenian international will remain with Manchester United by the end of the transfer window.

Much of the discussions have included Henrikh Mkhitaryan departing the English side with many suitors available who covet his intricate style of play for he would be an immediate asset to essentially every club in Europe’s top leagues. Italian sides Inter Milan and Juventus are leading the chase for the Armenian, however the likeliest destination for Mkhitaryan seems to be the playmaker’s former club Borussia Dortmund, who are eager to have their former star and number 10 return to top form at the Signal Iduna Park.

However, with recent news linking the Armenian to his former club in Germany, Manchester United’s manager in his latest press conference revealed that Henrikh Mkhitaryan may be given a chance to impress at Ashton Gate in a league cup fixture against Bristol City on Wednesday, December 20th.

Having not started a match since November 5, the Armenian is licking his lips at a chance to re-establish himself within the starting lineup in an attempt to return to his early season form.

The time seems ripe for Mkhitaryan, as December is what all Premier League football fans look forward to, where many of the teams have up to eight fixtures during the Christmas season, including four games within the next 10 days for Manchester United. Hopefully Jose Mourinho will shuffle his roster and as a result we will see lots of the crafty Armenian playmaker.

It is evident Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s talent and skillset are there, with the player being the most dominant footballer, technically and tactically in all the respective clubs and leagues he has played in whether it be Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukrainian Premier League or Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga.

Simultaneously, to completely understand the circumstance, one must comprehend the style of play and tactical approach of Jose Mourinho, the renowned Portuguese manager in charge at United. Mourinho, one of the most decorated manager’s in the history of football is known for his win-at-all-odds approach, much of which includes a largely defensive and counter-attacking system which has frozen out several extremely talented and skillful offensive players in the past such as Juan Mata, Kevin De Bruyne and Kaka.

One reason as to why the Armenian has fallen out of favor is the lack of opportunities and chances created during play for United. Mkhitaryan’s fall from grace can be traced to the injury of fellow midfielder, Paul Pogba. Mkhitaryan and Pogba, arguably two of the best in the world at their trade, have been instrumental to the team’s victories and success at the start of the season. With the injury to the French midfielder, the pressure of playmaking and creating fell solely on the shoulders of the Armenian. With all this said, there have been many players under-performing and it seems as if the Armenian is being scapegoated for the lack of production on the attacking end. Belgian forward, Romelu Lukaku’s form has also suffered but due to his hefty £75 million price tag and the manager’s hubris, he has not been subject to the same criticism the Armenian has from the manager.

We hope Mkhitaryan will be able to regain his form and make his return to starting lineup as soon as possible to help the club do what the club does best, creating stars and winning trophies. Free Mkhitaryan!


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  1. Raffi said:

    When he was with Real Madrid Jose Mourinho was well known for being unstable and vengeful, I believe his problem is psychological.

  2. petrakian said:

    I said it in 2016 and repeated it in 2017, Mike should have avoided going to UTD with Mourinho. Mourinho “kills” good players . Miki get the heck out of Utd as soon as you can, if you value your personal career..

    • Vagharshak Sevulyan said:

      I think he is very jealous manager , he intimatates his own players , he take advantage player high points then dumps them , bench them. This is not way manage club , he just looks for trophy in his pocket.

  3. Vagharshak Sevulyan said:

    I think Henrikh should consider play some other then Manchester United , With Joe’s leadership I think Henrikh is wasting his great talent. I think even he knows that , he is still young , lots of other teams gives him to play more often instead getting benched, wishing him good luck with United.

  4. Satenik said:

    Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a gem but I am afraid his boss is an old embittered man who kills any potential or joy in the players. Henrikh has to leave MUFC if he wants to save his sanity and spirit. Mourinho is bad news!

  5. robert said:

    you set a record at United, get the heck out now to a team that appreciates you. ps your scorpion kick was better than Giroud’s you should have gotten the goal of the year last year!

  6. Garo Artinian said:

    Manchester united team suffers with players that lack in ball control and team playing Technics which is all the soccer game is about. Wings using their speed is not sufficient to feed occasionally to the center forward and most of the time their primary intent is to score. You may have noticed yourself, they put their head down and thus tuck their brain in their pocket. It is is not the art of soccer but the hot dog, street corner, opportunist children play technique. Another problem is the center half, Matic, he is too methodical, defensive and slow in decision making before he passes the ball which puts the receiver teammate little option to take advantage. He needs to be replaced, he is not momentum player, in order to overall team performance is enhanced. He is one of primary reasons why Henrikh’s production suffers. Matic causes too much pressure on his defense. Herrera and Mata hard working, chasing the ball for defense players with good ball control. Too bad they are wasted for defending the post rather participating in the attack. Hentrikh will do well Barcelona style soccer game. or look at Real Madrid midfielders. Matic is not Casemiro and Hentrikh is Mateo Koyacic.

  7. joe said:

    I would get out of England all together. They are not our friends. The powers that be will not tolerate a loved, famous Armenian in the UK. They will ruin his career.