Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho still expects more from Henrikh Mkhitaryan this season, especially when the club faces their title rivals over the course of the campaign. That is according to a new report from ESPN.
Mkhitaryan has started 2017/18 in fine form after a strong end to his debut campaign and an impressive pre-season in between. The Armenian has already managed five assists in three Premier League games, but Mourinho has reportedly challenged him to do more still.
ESPN cites sources to claim that the United boss wants Mkhitaryan to find 'another level' when game against the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City come up.
Mkhitaryan's only noteworthy performance against a top Premier League club last season came in a win over Tottenham at Old Trafford in December when he scored the only goal. He also had to be stretchered out of that game early after a heavy tackle from Danny Rose.
Confidence and fitness played a huge role in Mkhitaryan improving massively towards the end of last season. In the Europa League in particular he was a driving force as United lifted the trophy, but had endured a poor start to his Old Trafford career, missing two months of action early on.
Mourinho is an incredibly demanding manager, but he and works best with strong characters - as he admitted during a lengthy interview with former United hero Rio Ferdinand in May.
Challenging Mkhitaryan to do even more than he is already doing so far this season will be his way of testing the former Borussia Dortmund star to the limit in a bid to get the absolute most out of what is a very able and talented attacking player.