Jose Mourinho has revealed there is no place for Henrikh Mkhitaryan in his team at the moment.
The Armenian midfielder started the season brightly, but has since lost steam, forcing Mourinho to completely leave him out of his matchday squads over the last couple of games, and the United boss has now revealed why.
“I can only have six [outfield] players on the bench and I try to have some balance on the bench,” Mourinho said in a more measured assessment after the Bournemouth match.
“I had two defenders and [Daley] Blind who can play in different areas. I had Ashley Young to cover me all the wings and the wing-back position.
“I had [Ander] Herrera as a midfield player, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] as a striker and Marcus [Rashford] as a second striker and winger.
“I played [Anthony] Martial, [Juan] Mata and [Jesse] Lingard in the team. To have Mkhi means that I don’t have one of them and, in this moment, I believe the other ones they deserve [the chance to play].”
United returned to winning ways as Romelu Lukaku scored the only goal against Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Wednesday, three days on from their 2-1 derby defeat to Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Armenia international Mkhitaryan was left on the sidelines for those two matches, having also sat out games versus Newcastle United, Basel, Watford, Arsenal and CSKA Moscow over the past month.