English Premiership

Mkhitaryan must start, says Neville

Henrikh Mkhitaryan.(Getty Images)
Henrikh Mkhitaryan.(Getty Images)

Cape Town - Former Manchester United utility man Phil Neville says Henrikh Mkhitaryan can no longer be ignored for selection in the Red Devils first team.

Mkhitaryan has made his frustrations public after a difficult start to life at Old Trafford, with his only appearance in the league so far this season coming in the Manchester derby.

Under the difficult circumstances and a a niggling injury during his settling in period, Jose Mourinho admitted the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder was not performing well enough to warrant a place in his starting line-up.

However, the Armenia international has produced two man of the match performances in his last two starts - the 4-0 rout of Feyenoord in the Europa League and Wednesday evening's 4-1 win over West Ham.

The performance against the Hammers in the EFL Cup, has convinced Neville, that Mkhitaryan is the man to turn around the club's fortunes in the Premier League.

"He has to start," he told Metro. "The words that Jose Mourinho used after the match were his way of saying he actually trusts him a little bit more now.

"He was fantastic, and what impresses me most is that he doesn't take more than one or two touches.

"He's infectious around [Wayne] Rooney, [Anthony] Martial, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, and he brings people into the game. I just think he has to be starting in Premier League games.

"The front four were sensational. Henrikh Mkhitaryan got man of the match but it could have been any of the front four. It was a brilliant attacking performance."

Jose Mourinho hinted after the game that Mkhitaryan was in-line to start in their next English Premiership encounter when they travel to Goodison Park to face Everton on Sunday.

Kick off is at 18:00.