Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been handed the chance to show what he can do when Manchester United host Feyenoord at Old Trafford in the Europa League on Thursday.
Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho has confirmed the Armenia star, 27, a summer capture from Borussia Dortmund, will get the chance to show his stuff after a frustrating spell at United, in which he has started only six games.
He has been injured for a period but Mourinho has made no secret of the fact that he has restricted Mkhitaryan’s appearances to allow him to get up to speed with the game in England.
Quizzed on Mkhitaryan’s chances, Mourinho said:
“Yes. I told him that he is going to be involved in the game against Feyenoord. He is trying. Obviously he is not happy but he is transforming his frustration in a good way, which is to close the mouth, work hard and try to adapt”.
“I told him against Arsenal (in the 1-1 draw in the Premier League last Saturday), ’this was not the game for you’ because I don’t think he needs 10 or 20 minutes from the bench. I said, ‘I think you need a good game and you need to either start or, if not, to come for the second half’. He needs less pressure and better conditions for him to express his qualities”.
United boss Mourinho needs no reminding that Dutch giants Feyenoord, the Eredivisie leaders, have already beaten his side in the reverse fixture earlier in the Europa League.
But the Theatre of Dreams outfit need to build on the decent display against the Gunners to advance from third spot in Group A with six points from 12. United need a win to overtake the second-placed visitors to occupy one of two qualification places, ahead of the final qualification game against Ukrainians Zorya Luhansk next month.