Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves says he cannot believe the treatment of Henrikh Mkhitaryan under Jose Mourinho this season.
The playmaker, signed from Borussia Dortmund for £26million in the summer, has only featured four times in the Premier League, not playing more than 45 minutes in any of his appearances.
After nursing a slight injury in September, the Armenia international is back fit and seemingly available, and Hargreaves says he can’t understand why the 27-year-old is being overlooked by Mourinho.
‘He needs to play, I can’t believe that he’s not getting a look-in. He would be a banker in my starting XI,’ he told Squawka.
‘He had a slow start at Dortmund too and he was the players’ player of the year last season. He got 23 goals and 32 assists, which is staggering numbers.
‘This wasn’t in a terrible league against pub teams and I can’t think of anybody who could put up those numbers besides Messi and Ronaldo. He’s a top player and we haven’t seen it yet at United.’
Discussing reasons for his absence, Hargreaves mentions a potential fragility in Mkhitaryan’s personality.
‘The thing is, he’s such a wonderful player but I think he’s also quite a sensitive guy,’ he added. ‘It would have been perfect if he started off flying with goals and assists, but the slow start has probably hit his confidence.’
Next up for United is a local derby against Manchester City in the EFL Cup, and it is yet to be seen whether Mkhitaryan will be trusted with a role in the game.