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Is Henrikh Mkhitaryan Heading for Manchester United Exit?

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan was expected to be the ready-made playmaker Manchester United were after when he signed from Borussia Dortmund for £26.3 million in the summer. He was part of the £150 million spending spree undertaken by Jose Mourinho as he set out to make United champions of England once again. Just four months into his time at Old Trafford, Mkhitaryan is already looking lost and The Sun reports that the player could be sold as early as in January. If it was the case, it would mean a monumental mistake from everyone at United but certainly not new to the club.

Angel di Maria was brought in from Real Madrid for a club record £60 million only to be sold just a year later for £45 million. It represents a loss of £15 million just in terms of the transfer fees and not to mention the £10 million which is given to the player. Even a club like Manchester United cannot afford to take such massive hits with each transfer. However, United seem to be intent on parting company with Mkhitaryan and this surprises the former midfielder, Owen Hargreaves. According to the Sun, he said:

“I can’t believe he’s not getting a look-in. He’d be a banker in my starting XI.

“He had a slow start at Dortmund too and was the players’ player of the year last season.”

Mkhitaryan has made only one start for United – in the derby loss against Manchester City – and he lasted only 45 minutes in that appearance. United reported that the player had suffered a thigh injury in the game and it has been the reason for his extended absence from the first team. Mkhitaryan has not featured in the United team since September 10 and his presence in the matchday squad from here on would be an indication of his future at United.

After having done extremely well with Dortmund over the last couple of years, Mkhitaryan has become one of the sought after playmakers in Europe. Hargreaves has pointed out to the fact that the Armenian international initially struggled after arriving at Dortmund, and his problems with United may be on a similar level. If it indeed proves to be the case, United may have a clear winner on their hands.

Only last season, Mkhitaryan finished with a whopping 23 goals and 32 assists. Of course, the English league is substantially stronger than the Bundesliga but the 27-year-old is clearly capable of playing at a very high level. He is the kind of player who can get the best out of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba. Hargreaves added:

“He scored 23 goals and had 32 assists, which are staggering numbers. This wasn’t a terrible league against pub teams.

“He’s a sensitive guy. It would’ve been perfect had he started off flying but the slow start has probably hit his confidence.”