Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has advised Anthony Martial to improve his game and emulate his teammate Henrikh Mkhitaryan to cement a place in the starting lineup.

The France international was signed by the Portuguese tactician's predecessor Louis van Gaal from AS Monaco in the summer of 2015. He was the Red Devils' top scorer in the last season with 17 goals in all competitions and has failed to replicate the performance in the ongoing campaign.

Mkhitaryan moved to Old Trafford from Borussia Dortmund and struggled to break into the United squad following his disappointing display in the league defeat to Manchester City in September. Mourinho urged the Armenian to improve his game following his side's Europa League defeat to Fenerbahce in October.

He has improved in recent times as the former Bundesliga star has scored three goals and registered two assists in the last five appearances in all competitions. Martial has been advised to emulate Mkhitaryan and Mourinho believes the 21-year-old needs to adjust his playing style before he starts to shine for United.

"Mkhitaryan was completely open and completely understood the difference between me and others coaches he has had. The difference between the demands of the Premier League and the Ukrainian league or even the Bundesliga, a completely different philosophy of play," Mourinho told SFR Sport.

Anthony Martial-Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has scored a goal each in his last three appearances for Manchester United Getty

"He worked a lot without playing, but he worked a lot to try and reach the level. By surprise, he played a couple of matches when nobody was expecting, and he was named man of the match. He was phenomenal and people realised that the time we spent outside was a good time for him to improve him as a player.

"I think Anthony is very very young, people forget, and last season Manchester United played completely differently to how we do today. He was basically playing up front, the team had lots of passive ball possession, just waiting to put it into space for Anthony to go and score a goal. This season is more difficult, he needs a little bit of time to improve."