Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp believes Jose Mourinho needs to restore Henrikh Mkhitaryan to the first-team at Manchester United.
The Armenian, who arrived at Old Trafford in July, has only made one start under Mourinho – all the way back on September 10 against Manchester City.
Mourinho claimed that Mkhitaryan’s involvement against Arsenal would have been detrimental to his already depleted confidence, but insisted he would receive a chance to impress against Feyenoord on Thursday.
Redknapp, speaking earlier this week, called for the 27-year-old reintroduction to Mourinho’s starting XI.
“Mkhitaryan – we’ve still not seen him this season,” he said.
“I’m not sure if he’s injured again, but somehow it feels like they’ve got to get him back in the team again.”
The Portuguese’s recent comments over Mkhitaryan have added some much needed clarity to the entire situation. Discussing a subject he has brushed over for some time, Mourinho noted that the attacking midfielder – especially after his disastrous first half against Man City – has been struggling with the pressures that come with playing for United.
It should be noted that the exact same issue occurred with Mkhitaryan during the early stages of his Borussia Dortmund career. And it was only when Thomas Tuchel handed him Timothy Gallwey’s book, The Inner Game of Tennis, that Mkhitaryan begun to overcome his mental impasse.
Such an issue has risen once again for Mkhitaryan. Playing for a club of such magnitude can preclude some players from fully expressing themselves; some never manage to adjust.
United fans will be desperate to see Mkhitaryan, after a period of acclimatisation, fully hit his stride under Mourinho.