Former Manchester United defender Phil Neville has blasted Henrikh Mkhitaryan for his attitude after being left out of the team. Jose Mourinho has been called out repeatedly for his treatment of the forward but Neville believes that the manager is right in his stance for a player who is not performing to his potential.
Mkhitaryan enjoyed an explosive start to the season, laying on five assists for his teammates in the opening three matches of the season. However, that spark has long diminished with Mourinho hinting that he may allow the Armenian to leave the club in January should the right offer be made.
United will demand a transfer fee of £35m ($47m) from any club wanting to sign Mkhitaryan, according to the Daily Mail.
Jesse Lingard is the player who has made the most out of the Armenian's misery, starring in recent wins over Arsenal and also grabbed eyeballs. The likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Juan Mata have also been preferred over the Armenian in the forward line.
The former Borussia Dortmund man came in as a second-half sub in United's shock loss to Bristol City in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, with the manager issuing a statement that he does not trust the forward even for cup games.
Neville is in agreement with Mourinho on this and believes that the club does not owe Mkhitaryan anything for treating him the way they have. He should instead be proud of getting an opportunity to play for the Red Devils, something that doesn't come regularly.
"Yes, they've spent a lot on players but maybe there are fewer and fewer players of that mentality available. You need to have them in the spine of your team," Neville told Sky Sports, as quoted by the Mirror.
"There's a lot of criticism of Jose's treatment of Henrikh Mkhitaryan but he ultimately didn't deliver when he's played. He's not unlucky, he's lucky he gets to play for United.
"Under Sir Alex [Ferguson], if I didn't perform I wasn't in the team. People need to stop sugar-coating it. If you don't perform then you don't get in the team or a new contract, it's not Jose being personal, it's business."