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29th Dec 2016

Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s favourite Manchester United player ever is probably your favourite too

A lot of United fans will agree...

Robert Redmond

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has only played 13-times for Manchester United, but he’s already becoming a big fan favourite after a difficult start to life at Old Trafford.

Mkhitaryan picked-up an injury on international duty at the start September and was hooked-off at half-time against Manchester City a few days later.

Jose Mourinho didn’t think he was ready for first-team football, or the physicality of the Premier League, and the 27-year-old spent several weeks out of the United squad.

Reports emerged earlier this month that Mkhitaryan was kept out of the United team while he bulked-up.

The forward is said to have put on 8lb (3.6kg), which is more than half-a-stone, since the summer. This dispelled any potential doubts his manager may have had about his ability to thrive in the Premier League

Mkhitaryan hasn’t looked back since returning to the team. He scored a cracker in the Europa League against Zorya, the only goal of the game against Tottenham Hotspur and one of the goals of the season against Sunderland on Monday.

The former Borussia Dortmund forward scored with a diving, backheel finish, from Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s cross. Offside or not, it was stunning.

There are very few players in the world who could execute such a move, or even think about trying something like it.

One player who would have tried it was Eric Cantona, which is probably why the United legend is Mkhitaryan’s favourite player from the club’s past.

Eric Cantona of Manchester United

“I started watching United at the time when Eric Cantona was in the team, and I loved watching him play,” Mkhitaryan told United’s official website.

Cantona won four Premier League titles and three FA Cups in his five years at United, and was the spark for the club’s most successful period before retiring in 1997.

The Frenchman was also voted the club’s greatest player ever by readers of Inside United, the club’s official magazine, back in 2001. Many United fans around the same age as Mkhitaryan would back his choice.

Eric Cantona

The Armenian also revealed he liked watching Andrei Kanchelskis play. The Russian winger played for United between 1991 and 1995 before leaving for Everton.

“Andrei Kanchelskis was another who I’d keep an eye out for – as he was a Russian player I found that very interesting.”

Mkhitaryan said his club “idol” is United’s former manager. No, not David Moyes, but his predecessor.

“But, in terms of a United idol, that would have to be Sir Alex Ferguson.”