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04th Apr 2017

Jose Mourinho reveals why he decided to drop Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Everton clash

Just a little dig

Darragh Murphy

It took Henrikh Mkhitaryan long enough to make manager Jose Mourinho trust him.

Literally months passed before the Armenian managed to make himself a regular at Old Trafford, as Mourinho required his summer signing to attain a reliable level of fitness before he began featuring for Manchester United.

And United fans, excited by the former Borussia Dortmund man ever since he was let loose on the Premier League, will be hoping that Mkhitaryan doesn’t slide back into Mourinho’s bad books.

The 28-year-old was left on the bench on Tuesday night, when United hosted Everton, and Mourinho was brutally honest in his explanation for dropping him, three days after Mkhitaryan played the majority of United’s 0-0 stalemate with West Brom.

Prior to kick-off on Tuesday, Mourinho said: “The thinking is because I am not happy with Mkhi’s performance in the last match and Pogba was not ready to play last Saturday, is because after 48 hours he is not in the best of his game so good to have him on the bench to give one more option.”

Paul Pogba also started on the bench for the Everton game, while there were no places in the squad for either Antonio Valencia or Wayne Rooney.

Mourinho also explained his thinking in leaving that pair out of the matchday party altogether.

“Valencia is really, really tired,” Mourinho continued. “He came from Ecuador, arrived here, played 90 minutes, it was a big effort for him, we need to protect him. Rooney yesterday had pain in both ankles, he couldn’t train and he is not available.”