Henrikh Mkhitaryan must start more games for Manchester United, says Phil Neville

Henrikh Mkhitaryan teed up an early Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal with a clever back-heel
Image: Henrikh Mkhitaryan must start more games for Manchester United, says Phil Neville.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan must start more Premier League games for Manchester United, says Phil Neville.

The Armenian, who signed from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, put in a fine man-of-the-match performance in the 4-1 EFL Cup quarter-final win over West Ham at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

He found first-team opportunities hard to come by earlier in the season, but former United defender Neville was impressed by his performance on Wednesday and against Feyenoord last week, and wants to see him more in the top flight.

Manchester United's Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan (R) shakes hands with Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (L) as he is substitu
Image: Mkhitaryan starred for United against West Ham, after impressing against Feyenoord last week in the Europa League

Neville said: "He has to start. 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.

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Michael Carrick and Mkhitaryan say Manchester United must now maintain momentum

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

United put on a fine attacking display for their fans at Old Trafford on Wednesday, with Anthony Martial and Zlatan Ibrahimovic each scoring twice in the victory.

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Highlights of Manchester United’s EFL quarter-final win against West Ham

They have been failing to take chances in the Premier League, leaving them in sixth place and 11 points off leaders Chelsea, but Neville is adamant Jose Mourinho's side are moving in the right direction.

"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.

"I think the performances are no different from the cup and the league, the difference is that in the cup competitions they're finishing teams off, look ruthless in front of goal, and look happier.

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Jose Mourinho believes Mkhitaryan is slowly turning into a key player at Old Trafford

"I don't think United are too far away. I think they've drawn games they should have won, and if they'd won those games they'd be in the top four.

"I actually think United are going in the right direction, it's a better brand of football we're watching now than what we saw under Louis van Gaal, so I think United fans will be happy.

"They've got to start scoring goals in the Premier League. If they do, they'll finish in the top four."

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