José Mourinho has praised Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s start to the season and admitted the forward’s progress could have been quicker last season if he and the Armenian had understood each other better.
Mkhitaryan has begun United’s 4-0 wins over West Ham United and Swansea City in the No10 berth, impressing in each outing. Last term Mkhitaryan did not make his full United debut until Manchester City’s visit on September 10 and disappointed the manager enough for him to be replaced at half-time.
Asked about the 28-year-old’s form now Mourinho said: “He understands me and I understand him. Beginning of last season, if he had understood me better he would start better. If I had understood him better, probably I would have helped him in a faster way than I did.
“But we spent a lot of time together, working together, learning each other. I know him well. He knows me well. The second part was good for him. With his talent, this season will be even better.”
Mourinho offered a similar analysis of Anthony Martial, who has scored in both league games after coming on as a substitute. “Again better,” said Mourinho. “When you are blessed with talent, you have to fulfil and explore it. You cannot be happy with just glimpses. That I am not going to change. I want more and more and more. He has all the qualities for that. He understands me better too.
“Our personal relationship is good. I don’t think player-manager relationship is fundamental but it is an added good thing to have a good relation. I hope he will be better.”