Jose Mourinho has confirmed Henrikh Mkhitaryan could feature against West Ham United on Sunday following his sensational performance against Feyenoord on Thursday night.
The Armenian, supposedly struggling with the pressures of life as a Man United player, had only made one start for the club prior to Man United’s clash with Feyenoord – against Manchester City on September 10.
He was handed a chance to impress against Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side Thursday night and duly mesmerised United fans with a sensational performance.
Mourinho, speaking after United’s 4-0 win over the Dutch side, claimed Mkhitaryan’s performance places him in contention for selection against West Ham on Sunday.
“This performance gives him the right to believe that he can play the next match again and he needs to replicate this kind of performance in the Premier League with more physicality and more aggression,” he said.
“He needs a little bit more of that but the quality – we know why we bought him, we know we were buying a player with a high level of technical quality.
“[He is] very intelligent and very bright, the way he reads the game, so good for him because the performance was good.”
For a player supposedly plagued with confidence issues, last night would have been huge. Two months of waiting patiently on the sidelines, watching as other players blossom and develop, would have been excruciating.
When he finally received his chance, it felt as if that pent-up frustration, the anguish stemming from continued exclusion for weeks on end, was channeled into a relentlessly sublime performance, simply oozing with class. The Armenian was everywhere: smart turns, precise passes, surging runs forward. Mkhitaryan had a point to prove, and the watching world took notice.
United fans will be desperate to see the 27-year-old receive another chance to impress against Slaven Bilic’s side.