Plenty of attention has been focused on Manchester United’s three major signings this summer – Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof – but arguably the biggest story from the Red Devils’ 4-0 win over West Ham on Sunday was how one of the arrivals from twelve months ago, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, played a crucial role.
The Armenian international moved to Old Trafford with a preceding reputation from his time at Borussia Dortmund but endured a difficult debut season under Jose Mourinho, particularly in the Premier League with just four goals to his name, and inevitably struggled to meet expectations.
But the attacking midfielder’s influence grew towards the tail-end of last season and he started the current campaign with a bang, providing assists for Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial to finish up with a staggering eight created chances overall, alongside three dribbles and three attempts at goal himself.
Perhaps most impressively, considering Mkhitaryan was United’s main man in terms of attempting risky passes to create scoring opportunities, he finished the match with a 90% pass accuracy – something only bettered by two Red Devils starters in Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia.
Manchester United have spent the best part of £150million on three additions this summer and the solidity of those signings, all measuring in at above 6 foot, appears to be getting the best out of one the Red Devils’ biggest strugglers last season.