The Armenia international struggled to make an impact at Old Trafford following his summer transfer from Borussia Dortmund last year.
However, after struggling to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League early on, Mkhitaryan has since found his feet in the top flight and continued his impressive form with a man of the match display in the Red Devils’ 3-0 win over Leicester on Sunday.
Questions were raised about Mourinho’s decision to limit Mkhitaryan’s playing time in the opening weeks of the season.
However, Mourinho has lifted the lid on his thinking behind that tactic in the wake of Sunday’s win.
Speaking at his post-match news conference on Sunday, Mourinho explained: “Sometimes the best way to protect players is not to play them.
“Sometimes we don’t play players, we protect them, and Mkhitaryan was one of these cases.
“He was being protected and he was adapting and I can see not just what you see, because you see the magic things he can do on the pitch.
“But I also see other things that I want to see and Mkhitaryan is playing really, really well.”
Manchester United are currently sixth in the table as they prepare for their clash with Watford in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
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