Former Manchester United defender Phil Neville says he understands Jose Mourinho’s decision to not put Henrikh Mkhitaryan into the starting line-up of United
Mkhitaryan has fallen out of favour at Old Trafford for the last 5 Premier League games due to his awful performances, but the former Red Devils defender claims he gets why Jose Mourinho has decided to leave the Armenia international out of his side’s squad.
The 28-year-old player was signed for £26.3 million back in 2016, however he has struggled to make his mark at Old Trafford. Neville also added that the midfielder should be grateful whenever he gets a chance to play.
“Yes, they’ve spent a lot on players but maybe there are fewer and fewer players of that mentality available. You need to have them in the spine of your team. There’s a lot of criticism of Jose’s treatment of Henrikh Mkhitaryan but he ultimately didn’t deliver when he’s played. He’s not unlucky, he’s lucky he gets to play for United,” he told Sky Sports.
“Under Sir Alex [Ferguson], if I didn’t perform I wasn’t in the team. People need to stop sugar-coating it. If you don’t perform then you don’t get in the team or a new contract, it’s not Jose being personal, it’s business,” Neville added on the issue.
At the same time, Romelu Lukaku has also come in for criticism because of his performances in big games, although he has already scored 10 goals in 18 Premier League games so far this season. The Belgian striker didn’t celebrate after his last 2 goals, and Neville thinks it’s because of anger.
“I think his lack of celebration definitely indicates his anger at the criticism. I could understand it against Bournemouth but there’s no better feeling in the world that scoring a goal, so I’d like to see him start enjoying it again,” Phil Neville explained.