Mourinho: Mkhitaryan is one step away

Jose Mourinho says Henrikh Mkhitaryan is close to being Premier League ready after impressing for Manchester United in their 4-0 defeat of Feyenoord on Thursday night.

The 27-year-old Armenian played 82 minutes of the Europa League tie before being replaced by Jesse Lingard where he had lined up in midfield alongside Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata.

While Mourinho praised Mkhitaryan’s performance, the Portuguese still believes his £26m million signing needs to improve his physicality in order to cope with the English top-flight.

After the game, Mourinho said: “He just needs now to replicate this kind of performance in the Premier League.

“The Premier League is different, he needs one more step.

“Confidence levels are higher. This performance gives him the right to believe he can play the next match again. The Premier League has more physicality but we know the quality, why we bought him.

“He is a player with a high level of technical quality, very intelligent, very bright with the way he reads the game so very good for him.”

Mkhitaryan, meanwhile, was relieved just to have played again, for the first time since September. He said: “It was a pleasure to play again. It’s been very difficult watching the team from the side but you have to have passion and work hard to try and take your next chance.”

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