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Jose Mourinho reveals ‘others deserve’ to play ahead of Henrikh Mkhitaryan as Armenian faces second spell out in the cold

Winger has played just twice since November 5 as was fuming after being axed from squad for Manchester derby and Bournemouth clash

Jose Mourinho insisted Henrikh Mkhitaryan does not deserve a bench spot after dropping the winger against Bournemouth.

The Armenian international, 28, is being linked with an exit after playing just 19 minutes of first-team football since November 5 – and he sat out again last night.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been left out in the cold at Manchester United

Reuters
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Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been left out in the cold at Manchester United

Victor Lindelof, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Daley Blind, Ashley Young, Marcus Rashford, Sergio Romero and Ander Herrera were named on the bench for the 1-0 win.

Mourinho explained: “I had two defenders that can play in different areas, I have Ashley Young to cover the wing and wing backs position.

“[Ander] Herrera is a midfield player, Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] is a striker, [Marcus] Rashford is a second striker and a winger.

“To have Mkhitaryan means I don’t have one of them and I believe the others deserve.”


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Jose Mourinho has rested Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the time being after the international break

Getty - Contributor
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Jose Mourinho has given Henrikh Mkhitaryan just 19 minutes of first-team football in over a month

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is being linked with a January exit

Reuters
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Henrikh Mkhitaryan is being linked with a January exit

United boss Mourinho, meanwhile, refuses to give up on the title.

Romelu Lukaku scored just his second goal in ten Premier League games as the Red Devils scraped past Bournemouth.

And the Special One insists he might as well go on holiday if he feels United cannot claw back the 11-point gap to rivals Manchester City.

Mourinho said: “It is only over in May. If it is over now I’ll go on holiday to Brazil or Los Angeles.

“We showed a very good attitude, a very good determination to win.

“Every team, after a defeat, tries not to have a second defeat.

“They wanted to win the match and I could see that from minute one to the last second.”


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Romelu Lukaku celebrates after sealing a 1-0 win for United

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Romelu Lukaku celebrates after sealing a 1-0 win for United

Furious Cherries boss Eddie Howe felt Lukaku should have been sent off in the first half.

The Belgian striker escaped a caution for a heavy challenge on Nathan Ake but was then booked for fouling Harry Arter.

Howe said: “I thought the first one was a yellow card. He was very late on Nathan and I made that point to the fourth official.

“Then he picks up a card and he should have been off the pitch.”