Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been "humiliated" by Jose Mourinho
This is a strong claim to make.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan's absence from the Manchester United first-team continues.
The Armenian forward, signed from Borussia Dortmund for £26.3m last summer, had fans of the Old Trafford club very excited when he arrived in the summer, which was no mean feat considering the club also broke the world transfer record for Paul Pogba and signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Since then, Mkhitaryan has made a few substitute appearances, got injured on international duty and hasn't been seen in the first-team since his one and only start against Manchester City last month, when he was hooked-off at half-time.
Henrikh "copy and paste" Mkhitaryan is facing a race against time to be fit for next weekend's derby https://t.co/DnSzqpOS7S
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOE_UK) September 3, 2016
A report earlier this week claimed that Jose Mourinho and the United coaching staff have concerns about the player's fitness and ability to adapt to the physical nature of the Premier League.
However, the report suggested that Mkhitaryan was in-line for some involvement against City in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night. Yet, despite showing up with the United squad to the game, the 27-year-old wasn't even named among the substitutes.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 26, 2016
According to Samuel Luckhurst, football writer for the Manchester Evening News, Mourinho's decision to bring Mkhitaryan to the game, but exclude him from the squad, was "humiliating," as the player had been "training intensely" and had expected to be involved.
"Jose Mourinho's man-management deserted him on Wednesday night and his treatment of Mkhitaryan was humiliating," Luckhurst writes.
"He knew the photographers would capture him arriving at The Lowry and, an avid Instagrammer who is seldom seen without a phone inside the hotel's plush bar area, Mourinho would not have had to look far to read about the clamour among United supporters to restore Mkhitaryan to the squad."
Luckhurst goes on to write that Mkhitaryan's quiet nature could be counting against him.
"Mkhitaryan is an introvert and a polyglot, fluent in Armenian, Russian, French, German, Portuguese and English, a gift he harnessed due to a peripatetic upbringing owed to his late father Hamlet's stint at two French clubs and Mkhitaryan's own itinerant playing career. He is one of the more articulate United squad members.
"Only Mourinho would appear currently to value character over talent. Lingard is an intuitive footballer bolstered by an extroverted personality with his Instagram Stories, Snapchats and Dabbing. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has the front to mock City fans when he is living up to that 'Ibras**tovic' moniker English fans once dubbed him...Morgan Schneiderlin, another reserved personality, has barely had a kick this season and appeared for the first time in four weeks as a substitute against City."
This frustrating scenario could drag on further as it appears Mkhitaryan has a lot to do to convince Mourinho he's worthy of even a place on the bench.