Henrikh Mkhitaryan is determined to fight for his place at Manchester Uniteddespite being left out of the matchday squad for Wednesday night’s EFL Cup victory over Manchester City.
The Armenian international has made only four appearances for United since joining from Borussia Dortmund in the summer for around £30m, the last being the 2-1 defeat to City on 10 September when he was substituted at half-time. That means Mkhitaryan has played just 105 minutes in the Premier League for his new club.
He had been expected to feature against City on Wednesday and was pictured arriving at Old Trafford with the rest of the squad before kick-off, only to be informed that he would be watching the game from the stands. It is understood that the 27-year-old was surprised not to be involved having taken a full part in training in the buildup to the match but will not seek a move away from United in January.
Last week, José Mourinho – who was charged with misconduct on Thursday over comments he made about the referee Anthony Taylor prior to the game against Liverpool – admitted Mkhitaryan “has to work more to get the intensity and fitness to play at a high level”.
That also came as a shock to the forward, who was voted the Bundesliga’s player of the Season after his performances for Dortmund last season, although he did admit in pre-season that it could take time for him to settle into English football.
“It doesn’t matter if they buy me for, I don’t know, £38m or £40m, I am not guaranteed to play the games,” Mkhitaryan said.
“So I am trying to do my best during the training to earn this place to play and then we will see, because I don’t think I will play every game, depending on the tactical situation, depending on the opponent. But I will do everything to try and help the team.”