Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been a revelation since joining Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund last summer, and the Armenia star has been central to their chances of winning the Europa League.
The 28-year-old has now bagged in four successive Europa League away fixtures and his away goal in the quarter-final against Anderlecht could made all the difference ahead of the return leg at Old Trafford. After a narrow 2-1 win, after extra-time, United certainly needed his away goal.
United fans expected their club to challenge for silverware this season after a busy summer of transfer activity and Jose Mourinho’s men have shown glimpses of quality in recent months. In fact, the United last tasted defeat in the Premier League back in October and Mkhitaryan has been fantastic since breaking into the first team.
Mourinho’s side have already won the EFL Cup and the club’s first Europa League triumph could follow in the near future. With Mkhitaryan in fine form, anything is possible – he has been phenomenal in this competition so far this campaign.
It took a while for Mkhitaryan to hold down a regular spot in Mourinho’s line-up but he is now a key member of the squad, particularly in European competition.
The Armenian has been brilliant since the last international break, notching a goal in United’s 3-0 victory over Sunderland at the weekend before a man-of-the-match performance in the draw at Anderlecht. On his day, he is up there with the best players in the Premier League.
Should United, currently valued at 6/4 to win the Europa League with a number of high street bookmakers, achieve their ultimate objective, Mourinho will receive plenty of credit for their turnaround after a torrid start to the campaign.
United have struggled to keep everybody fit and healthy in recent months and Mkhitaryan himself has found himself in and out of the side due to recurring injury issues. If he can stay fresh for the remainder of the campaign, the Armenia star will play a key role for United before the end of May.
But it hasn’t been plain sailing for United. In fact, United may be on a long unbeaten run but Mourinho’s men have dropped plenty of points in winnable games; especially on home soil. At Old Trafford, the Reds have been profligate up front, missing a hatful of chances in crucial league and cup matches.
Some may be tempted to scour new betting sites – some of which are offering free bets of up to £100 – in a bid to find enhanced odds for the Reds to win, particularly as United are prone to easing up and taking ‘lesser’ rivals for granted from time-to-time. Henrikh Mkhitaryan joined United to win trophies and that is exactly what the Reds have managed to do… so far.
An EFL Cup triumph and a top four finish may suffice but Mourinho will want more silverware and a maiden Europa League success would certainly go down well with United’s ardent and passionate fan base.
Manchester United are a club steeped in a rich history of success and there’s no reason why Mkhitaryan and Mourinho cannot combine to bring more accolades to Old Trafford in the coming years.