Jose Mourinho has advised Anthony Martial to follow the example of Henrikh Mkhitaryan to force his way into Manchester United’s starting line-up, Sky Sports reports.
Martial has found himself on the fringes of Mourinho’s first-team plans, having made four of his 11 Premier League appearances from the bench this season.
However, the United manager has no plans to sell the 21-year-old French striker who has been linked with a loan move away from Old Trafford next month.
Mourinho said: “Anthony is very, very young. People forget that and last season Manchester United played completely differently. He was basically playing up front.
“The team had lots of passive ball possession, just waiting to put it into space for Anthony to go and score a goal. This season is more difficult. He needs a little bit of time to improve.”
Armenian Mkhitaryan initially struggled to earn first-team opportunities this campaign but is now thriving, scoring three goals in his last three games including a goal of the season contender in the Boxing Day win over Sunderland.
Mourinho added: “Every player is different. I had this season a situation that was more difficult than Anthony – Mkhitaryan.
“Mkhitaryan was completely open and understood the difference between me and other coaches he had.
“There is a difference between the demands of the Premier League and the Ukrainian League, or the Bundesliga – a completely different philosophy of play.
“And he worked a lot without playing, but he worked a lot to try to reach the level.”