Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Why Magical Mkhitaryan Must Still Improve

Romelu Lukaku has certainly hogged the headlines since his blockbuster arrival at Old Trafford, and deservedly so, with a hugely impressive return of ten goals in his first nine games.

It’s unlikely the powerful Belgian would be registering such numbers, however, without such a reliable source of chances coming his way.

Step forward Henrik Mkhitaryan. The Armenian artist must also take his fair share of the plaudits with five assists already to his name, getting into key positions to provide telling passes and feed a forward line keen to hungrily gobble up every opportunity that comes their way.

 

Manchester United have certainly made a potent declaration of intent, as the 2017/18 season starts to take shape. The Red Devils are keeping within touching distance of Manchester City at the summit of the table and are demonstrating the confidence to show they’ll be in this fight to the finish.

Of course, to do exactly that the team will be reliant on consistently top-notch performances from everyone in the squad, with more of the ‘Micky Magic’ from Mkhitaryan central to ambitions for silverware this season. Even with his excellent start to the campaign, there remain some lingering doubts about his decision making in the final third of the pitch, a contributing factor, perhaps, to the fact that the football betting markets still have him out at 20/1 to win the PFA Player of the Year award.

Mkhitaryan arrived from Borussia Dortmund last season for what looked like a bargain at around £30 million, especially considering this was for a player who left the Bundesliga as Player of the Season and top of the assist charts. His biggest impact came in the Europa League as one of the best players in the tournament, key in helping United to lift the trophy, but in the Premier League he dipped in and out of form.

Few would argue that his start to the 2017/18 campaign has been anything short of exceptional, but as demanding as ever, Jose Mourinho wants even more from the 28-year-old playmaker, especially against the strongest rivals in Premier League games where just one killer pass can make all the difference.

 

There’s absolutely no doubting the effort Mkhitaryan puts into every game he plays, plus he’s the kind of player with flair and panache to his game that the Old Trafford faithful delights in watching. When those deft little chips over a rival defender work, which he frequently attempts, they do look magical. But sometimes a simple pass can prove even more devastating and it’s that kind of cutting edge that Mourinho wants to see more.

If Mkhitaryan can become just a little more clinical with some of his choices, Mourinho will certainly be much happier and confident the Armenian maestro is able to follow his instructions, and United would undoubtedly have one of the most lethally creative forces in Europe at their disposal. An improved level of efficiency could make all the difference in both the Premier League and Champions League this season.

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Joel

Editor & Co-Founder of Manchester La La La. SAF Stand season-ticket holder. Interested in writing for us? Email info@manchesterlalala.com.

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