Jose Mourinho issues public apology to Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Submitted on Fri, 03/09/2018 - 10:37

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has issued a public apology to Henrikh Mkhitaryan after he was substituted midway the Red Devils' win over Derby County in the FA Cup. The Armenia international made his second straight start of the campaign versus the Rams, but he only lasted until the half-time break.

Speaking after the game, Mourinho felt it was unfair on his part to sub Mkhitaryan, but he did not have much of a choice as he had to enforce a change to change the dynamics of the match, he said: "[It was] unfair [to take Mkhitaryan off] and I told him that at half-time.
"I didn’t like what I did. He didn’t deserve it, he was playing well, he wasn’t playing bad. He had a couple of missed passes but he was playing well and giving a good dynamic to the team. My feeling was just that Rashford is not going to score a goal and because of that I’m not going to lose time and I’m going to play Romelu [Lukaku] so then I had to sacrifice a player."

Lukaku was brought onto the pitch in Mkhitaryan's place in the second half, and the Belgian made his mark on the night. The former Evertonian helped United break the deadlock with an assist for Jesse Lingard's goal in the 85th minute, and moments later, he popped up to make it 2-0 and secure the club's progress to the FA Cup fourth round.

Mkhitaryan's future has been a topic of speculation over the past few weeks, but he appears set to stay at Old Trafford for the campaign with neither Inter Milan nor Borussia Dortmund willing to match his transfer valuation. United are said to value Mkhitaryan at around £35m, and this has proved a tad too steep for his suitors.

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