Why Mkhitaryan has been absent – Mourinho

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has defended the absence of Armenian midfielder Henrihk Mkhitaryan from his squad.

The Armenian has not featured for Manchester United since the Manchester derby in the Premier League on 10 September.

Speaking on the matter during Friday’s press conference at the Aon Training Complex Mourinho confirmed the player was no longer injured but required time to adapt to the Premier League.

He said, “He is not injured. Sometimes I confuse the word ‘fit’ in the English language. Sometimes you can say that it is ‘not injured’, but you could also say that you are in great condition and ready to compete. That is different for me as we use different words in Portuguese for the different situations. Mkhitaryan is not injured, he is training with the team 100 per cent.

Speaking on Mkhitaryan adapting to the League, Mourinho said, “I think so, yes. Some players find it very easy whereas others need more time. They need time to feel the intensity, the aggression, the game without the ball and the competitiveness.

“The realities are often different, particularly in terms of the competitiveness. It doesn’t matter who you are against, you have to play at the highest level otherwise you will not be able to do it. Micki needs time to become the top player he knows he can be.”

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