Jose Mourinho has told Henrikh Mkhitaryan that he is not getting a regular run of games in the Manchester United first team because the other players in front of him are in much better form.
The Armenia international has found his first-team opportunities to be severely restricted in recent weeks despite making a strong start to the season under Mourinho.
Mkhitaryan was once again left out of the Manchester United squad altogether as the Red Devils sealed a 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Wednesday night thanks to Romelu Lukaku’s first-half goal.
The playmaker has not featured for Manchester United since he came on as a substitute during the 1-0 victory over Brighton at Old Trafford on 25 November.
Mourinho was asked about Mkhitaryan’s situation after Wednesday night’s game and the Manchester United manager gave an honest assessment of the playmaker’s future.
Asked about Mkhitaryan, Mourinho told his post-match news conference at Old Trafford: “I can only have six [outfield] players on the bench and I try to have some balance on the bench – I had two defenders and [Daley] Blind who can play in different areas.
“I had Ashley Young to cover me all of the wing and the wing-back position. I had [Ander] Herrera as a midfield player, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] as a striker and Marcus [Rashford] as a second striker and winger. I played [Anthony] Martial, [Juan] Mata and [Jesse] Lingard in the team.
“To have Micki means that I don’t have one of them and, in this moment, I believe the other ones they deserve [the chance to play].”
Manchester United remain 11 points behind leaders Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title.
The Red Devils, who finished sixth last season in the top flight, will return to Premier League action this weekend when they take on West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Sunday afternoon.
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