It’s been a season of experimentation for Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.
Whilst he’s one of the few Premier League managers yet to attempt an Antonio-Conte inspired 3-4-3 this season, he has utilised three different formations in the top flight and started 21 different players – essentially two starting XIs.
As a consequence, square pegs have been pushed into round holes at times and that particularly rings true with summer signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan who, despite weaving his way back into Mourinho’s good books after a slow start to his Old Trafford career, has spent the vast majority of the campaign out wide.
That was the case last weekend when the United gaffer tested a 4-4-2 set-up against Leicester. But struggling for rhythm going forward, Mourinho quickly switched to a 4-2-3-1, with Mkhitaryan at the centre of the action in the No.10 role.
The Armenian attacker’s impact from then on was sensational, scoring United’s first and setting up their third via a cute one-two to release Juan Mata inside the box. With that in mind, we asked Red Devils fans earlier this week whether Mkhitaryan should continue in the No.10 berth for the rest of the campaign and as you can see from our poll below, the answer was a resounding yes.
However, applying that tactical switch permanently could spell trouble for another United favourite – Michael Carrick. The advanced engine room slot comes at the price of Carrick’s holding berth just behind Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera, so Mkhitaryan’s gain looks set to be the England veteran’s loss.