Armenia international Henrikh Mkhitaryan is reportedly fighting to save his Manchester United career following a string of average performances since October. The attacker was left out of the matchday squad during United’s 4-1 victory over Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Mkhitaryan, 28, started the campaign in prime fashion as he accumulated five assists in the space of three Premier League matches. However, he has since struggled in the top-flight with just a solitary goal contributed in eight outings.
United boss Jose Mourinho had persisted with Mkhitaryan in the starting lineup during his lean streak, and the Armenian appeared to have found his touch during the international break where he scored in friendlies against Cyprus and Belarus.
Despite this, the former Dortmund ace was replaced by Juan Mata against Newcastle United with Mourinho, later on, revealing that the Armenian was left out of the squad due to tactical reasons.
In a report covered by The Sun, the attacker is now battling to save his United career, having suffered a significant drop in fitness which has brought reservations over him from Mourinho and his backroom staff.
An unnamed source said: “There are still problems with Mkhitaryan. He is battling to save his career here. There are huge reservations over him from Jose and his backroom team. He has shown an alarming sign of fatigue in recent weeks.
“He could even be handed a rest after the international break after going away with Armenia. It’s going to be a busy festive period. Henrikh did work hard to get into shape after the concerns last year but they seem to be coming back in a way. It’s a huge issue.”
United had the opportunity to welcome the likes of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to first-team action over the weekend, and Mkhitaryan’s absence may not have much of an impact on the overall setup with the likes of Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata capable of slotting into the number 10 position.
Pogba has also played in an attacking midfield role previously, and Mourinho could yet play Marouane Fellaini and Nemanja Matic together in order to propel the Frenchman further up the field to link-up with his forwards.