Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho was brutally honest in his explanation as to why Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been absent from the first team squad.

By 90Min
December 14, 2017

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho was brutally honest in his explanation as to why Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been absent from the first team squad.

The Portuguese has left the former Borussia Dortmund star out of seven of the last eight matchday squads in all competitions, and the Armenian has not featured for the Red Devils since a substitute appearance against Brighton on November 25.

Speaking after United's 1-0 win over Bournemouth, Mourinho was transparent over the situation, and simply revealed the form and versatility of others makes his inclusion difficult at the moment.

He said, as quoted by the club's official website: "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]."

Mkhitaryan got off to a blistering start for the club this season, notching five assists in the first three league games, but inconsistency and an inability to impact on the big games have seen him lose his place in the side, with a section of fans even calling for his sale in January.

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