Manchester United Suffer Massive Injury Blow Ahead of Manchester City Clash
Of the four summer signings made by José Mourinho since his arrival at Manchester United, it’s fair to say that Henrikh Mkhitaryan has made the least impact up to this point. Zlatan Ibrahimović has notched three league goals for his new club already, including a brace on his competitive debut at Old Trafford; Paul Pogba has dazzled in midfield since his £89 million move from Juventus, and Eric Bailly has been the most-impressive of the bunch, forming a strong partnership in the centre of defence with Daley Blind, and offering several powerful displays in a Red Devils shirt.
Mkhitaryan, however, has yet to start a competitive game for his new club. The signing from Borussia Dortmund, who ended up being voted the 2015-16 Bundesliga Player of the Year by his fellow professionals, has been a regular substitute since his move to Old Trafford instead, which has been somewhat surprising to many. It wasn’t outlandish to suggest that Mourinho would immediately remove Juan Mata, an ever-present for Manchester United over the past 18 months, from his starting XI, but the Spaniard has impressed in his role on the right of attack, and notched the opening goal in the 3-1 defeat of Bournemouth to start their new campaign. As such, Mata has made it tricky for Mkhitaryan to walk into the side, even if the Armenian has been regularly called to enter matches from the bench.
News of the player’s injury whilst on international duty for his country last week, worried many a United fan, and Mkhitaryan himself has taken to social media to offer an update on his recovery.
We win & lose together..I’m very disappointed to have missed the game vs Denmark, but I’d like to thank the team for their hard work. I continue extensively my rehabilitation, but I’m not sure yet if I will be fit for the derby this weekend, but I’ll try as I’m motivated as ever and plan to put all my energy to be in great shape as soon as possible…a simple devotion to what I love most – football! Thanks for sending me your love & support.
In truth, the former Borussia Dortmund forward shouldn’t be rushed back at this early stage of the season. This weekend will be only the fourth game of United’s Premier League campaign, and with seven to be played in three different competitions before next October’s international break, Mourinho will need to be careful with how he uses his squad.
Juan Mata, who himself has been away on international duty with Spain, is more than capable of producing the goods in that position, and has developed a habit of scoring goals in key games for his team, if his strikes against Liverpool, Manchester City and Crystal Palace in last season’s FA Cup final are anything to go by.
Of course, that won’t stop United fans from being increasingly excited to see Henrikh Mkhitaryan given a proper chance to impress as a regular starter, and given the obvious quality that he possesses, it’s fair to suggest that he’ll get his chance soon, when fully fit.