Jose Mourinho explains Henrikh Mkhitaryan absence

Jose Mourinho has explained why he has decided to leave Henrikh Mkhitaryan out of his Manchester United squad for recent matches, according to the club’s official website.

The Armenian has not been involved in the matchday squad in seven of the last eight games and last featured as a substitute in United’s 1-0 win over Brighton on 25 November.

Mourinho was asked about Mkhitaryan’s absence in his post-match press conference following the Reds’ 1-0 victory over Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

The boss outlined that his plethora of options in midfield and attacking positions means that there is competition for every place in the starting line-up and on the bench.

He said: “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. 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].”

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