Henrikh Mkhitaryan is targeting Champions League glory after claiming the crowning goal during Manchester United’s Europa League final win over Ajax last month.
The Armenian was an integral component of Man United’s journey to Stockholm, claiming six goals – four of which coming in the knockout phases – as Mourinho’s men cemented their place in the Champions League by claiming a 2-0 win over Ajax.
And the 28-year-old, who scored the decisive second goal in the final, is now eyeing up similar feats in next season’s Champions League.
“Lifting the UEFA Europa League trophy in Stockholm [was my favourite moment of the season],” he said.
“We worked so hard to win this competition and it was truly special to be able to do it. Now we are really looking forward to be back in the UEFA Champions League.”
“The Champions League is where Manchester United belongs and we are all happy to be playing this great competition again.
“For the new season we definitely want to fight for the title. For the Super Cup it should be a fantastic game against Real Madrid.”
To put it bluntly, United would have gotten nowhere near Stockholm without Mkhitaryan. The attacking midfielder has, on balance, had a relatively muted season – punctuated most notably by an almost three long absence from the first team.
And yet, looking back, it would be hard to say he disappointed: the Armenian has displayed an aptitude for producing moments and spells of mesmerising brilliance that can alter the entire complexion of a game. It may be something as simple as a clever turn and pass, but even that invokes a sense of slickness and urgency into United’s play that, mixed with their muscle in midfield, proved too much for continental opponents last term.
How far they will go amongst the European elite, however, remains an unknown quantity.