Manchester United playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan was reportedly left confused and stunned by Jose Mourinho’s snub in the Europa League this week.
The Armenian international wasn’t included in the squad as United went on to secure a 4-1 win over Fenerbahce, and was spotted in the stands watching on as his teammates won without him.
According to The Times, the former Borussia Dortmund star was fully fit after recovering from the thigh strain that he suffered on international duty last month and then aggravated in the loss to Manchester City on September 10.
In turn, Mourinho confirmed that Mkhitaryan was available for selection, but evidently believed that he lacked match fitness to play against the Turkish outfit.
However, many would argue that it would have made sense to have at least included him on the bench while also possibly giving him minutes in order to work on his match fitness under less pressure.
The decision has unsurprisingly led to speculation over Mkhitaryan’s future at Old Trafford now, with The Times reporting that he was “stunned” by the omission and is now under pressure already to convince Mourinho that he has a future at the club.
There’s no denying that there is fierce competition for places in the wide positions for United this season, with the likes of Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Ashley Young and Memphis Depay all battling for spots in the team.
Nevertheless, given the £26.3m fee that was spent to take Mkhitaryan to Manchester this summer, as noted by The Times, it is certainly a strange situation to see him on the outside looking in and not enjoying the best of starts to his time at United.
The 27-year-old has neither scored nor assisted a goal in five appearances so far this season, which is in stark contrast to his form for Dortmund last year which saw him record 23 goals and 32 assists in 52 appearances for the club.