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Mourinho explains why Micki plays as a sub

Jose Mourinho explains why he has been benching Henrikh Mkhitaryan

August 19, 2016 By Andrew Amoth Wandola
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has come clean on Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s role at the club.

The Armenian midfielder joined the Red Devils this season from Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund but is yet to start in a competitive outing for his new club. The 27-year-old was in superb form for the Bundesliga club last season having bagged the Bundesliga Player of the Month award for April, Bundesliga Assist Leader with 15 league assists, Bundesliga Players’ Player of the Season, not forgetting his inclusion in the Bundesliga Team of the Season. 

Many fans of Manchester United were excited when the club announced the capture of the highly-rated attacking midfielder especially at a time when he was linked with a move to rivals Arsenal. But their excitement is now slowly turning into frustration as the player is yet to start in a competitive match. Check out some of the reactions from the club’s fans on Twitter:

When asked about Mkhitaryan’s conspicuous absence in the starting lineups of competitive games Jose Mourinho had this to say during a pre-match presser:

"Options. I was reading the game against Leicester and I felt that we needed the speed of Jesse Lingard and, in the game against Bournemouth, that [Juan] Mata would help guard against their pressing really high. He could reach some spaces behind the line of the pressure and could be very useful for us. 

"I decided to play [Wayne] Rooney in both games, close to Zlatan [Ibrahimovic], and I didn't start with Micki. When some managers buy players, they feel they have to protect their choices by playing the player all the time – I am not like this. Before me, comes the team and what I think is best for the team. 

"I felt that Lingard and Mata were better options for the team in these matches, with the reality of the Premier League, so I made that decision. 

"I keep saying the same thing, though, that Mkhitaryan is a super football player and will give us a lot during the season."

WATCH: Mourinho speaks about his new signings

It will be interesting to see if the Portuguese tactician will include Micki in his starting lineup as Manchester United play Southampton in their first home game of the 2016/17 season today at Old Trafford. For global broadcast options, please visit the match page for this Premier League fixture.

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