Manchester United Jose Mourinho has lashed out at the recent form of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, revealing his performances have decreased.
Mkhitaryan, who has been left out of United’s last two match-day squads, will return to the squad for Saturday’s Premier League game against Brighton.
Mourinho told a news conference on Friday: “I was not happy with his last performances.
“I’m not speaking about one or two, I’m speaking about three, four or five. He started the season very well and after that, step by step, he was disappearing.
“His performance levels in terms of goal scoring and assists, high pressing, recovering the ball high up the pitch, bringing the team with him as a No.10, were decreasing step by step.
“That was enough because the others worked to have a chance. Everybody works to have a chance. It’s as simple as that.”
Mkhitaryan, 28, joined United from Dortmund in July 2016 for £26.3m, has started 10 of United’s first 11 Premier League games before he was dropped after being substituted in the 62nd minute of the 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on 5 November.
The former Real Madrid boss insists a squad with enough attacking talents like United should be scoring enough goals.
He said: “A team that plays the way we play so many times, I think we should score more goals than we do.
“The team that excites more is the team that after five chances is winning 4-0. That’s a team that excites more.”
Mkhitaryan has been told to follow the example set by Martial if he wants to win back a regular place.
Mourinho added: “I think we had an improvement with Martial. He’s scoring more goals than last season. That’s why he is playing more. He has more minutes on the pitch. When you compete a lot, training is difficult to judge because in the end you train in small groups.
“I cannot say that when you play so much, training is the best habitat to analyse the players.
“I would say on the pitch — pitch, match, and sometimes in a couple of minutes you see things.
“You don’t need sometimes to play 40, 50, 60 minutes for the coach to have feelings and have data to analyse.
“So I would say it’s on the pitch, especially on the pitch. Tell me on the pitch what you want to do the next match.”