Stats Back It Up: Henrikh Mkhitaryan Key to Manchester United's Hot Start
Most of the talk surrounding Manchester United so far this season has centred on the three-goal haul of Romelu Lukaku, the all-action performances of Paul Pogba, the further flourishing of Marcus Rashford, Anthony's Martial's goalscoring cameos and even the deep lying string pulling of new midfield shield Nemanja Matic.
But just as important as any of those names in United's fine start to the new Premier League season, which has seen the club top the table with back-to-back 4-0 wins, is Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The Armenian took time to settle when he first arrived from Borussia Dortmund in 2016. Injury played a part and United fans didn't really see him at his best until the second half of the campaign, particularly in the latter stages of the Europa League.
A strong pre-season followed a strong end to 2016/17, and now Mkhitaryan is firing already.
Data courtesy of EA SPORTS can reveal that Mkhitaryan is leading the Premier League assist standing with four in two games, having also created nine chances in total so far.
The 28-year-old has set up exactly half of United's eight goals, with no other player in the Premier League contributing more than two assists to their teams output so far - Granit Xhaka, Christian Eriksen and Riyad Mahrez all have two each.
What Mkhitaryan's creative stats also point to is a clinical edge to United's attack. Two of his four assists have resulted in goals for new striker Lukaku, but David Silva at Manchester City hasn't been able to rely upon clinical finishing from his team-mates after laying on the chance.
Silva has created the same number of chances of Mkhitaryan (9), but that has resulted in only one assist for his efforts as most of the opportunities have gone begging.
Premier League Assists & Chances Created After 2 Games:
|Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Man Utd)||4||9|
|Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)||2||6|
|Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)||2||5|
|Riyad Mahrez (Leicester)||2||3|
|David Silva (Man City)||1||9|
|Nathan Redmond (Southampton)||1||8|
|Paul Pogba (Man Utd)||1||5|
|Chris Brunt (West Brom)||1||3|
Data Courtesy of EA SPORTS, the Lead Partner of the Premier League