Redknapp: Manchester United would have same points as Liverpool if Mourinho had picked this player
By Alex Stevens
Jamie Redknapp has claimed that Manchester United would have up to seven more points if Jose Mourinho had picked Henrikh Mkhitaryan sooner.
The summer signing from Borussia Dortmund was frozen out by the Old Trafford manager in the first three months of the season due to concerns about his fitness and ability to withstand the rigours of the Premier League.
But he has made a major impact in recent weeks and followed up his debut United goal in Thursday night’s Europa League win over Zorya with the game’s only goal in Sunday’s landmark 1-0 Premier League triumph over Tottenham.
Mourinho responded by claiming the Armenia international was a crucial member of the team now that he had got up to full speed.
But TV pundit Redknapp took an alternative view and claimed that the Portugese’s selection had left much to be desired.
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“I don’t buy the argument that Henrikh Mkhitaryan needed time to adjust to the Premier League,” wrote Redknapp in the Mail. “If he had started sooner, I’m convinced Manchester United would have six or seven more points.
“He is like Philippe Coutinho or Mesut Ozil in his ability to unlock the door and see passes that others don’t. He shone in the fast and furious pace of the Bundesliga so why wasn’t he even on the bench for so long?”
By Redknapp’s reckoning, United would have 31 points by picking Mkhitaryan, which would draw them level in the table with bitter rivals Liverpool.
Mkhitaryan joined United on the back of a sensational campaign for Dortmund in which he was named the Bundesliga player of the year.
The 27-year-old score a staggering 23 goals and supplied an even more remarkable 32 assists for the German club in all competitions last season.
In other Manchester United news, Alan Shearer has claimed there was an Old Trafford ace other than Mkhitaryan who was brilliant against Tottenham.