Gary Neville explains why he admires Henrikh Mkhitaryan at Man United

The Manchester United legend believes Henrikh Mkhitaryan is thriving in his role as a link player between defence and attack

Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan Photo: The Sport Review

Gary Neville believes Manchester United playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan is brilliant at providing a link between defence and attack in Jose Mourinho’s team.

The Armenia international was one of Jose Mourinho’s first signings as Manchester United manager after the attacking midfielder completed a £30m move to Old Trafford from Borussia Dortmund last summer.

However, the Red Devils boss used the 29-year-old sparingly in his first season in charge despite Mkhitaryan scoring 11 goals and making 15 assists in his final Bundesliga campaign.

The playmaker struggled to adapt to the Premier League in the first half of the 2016-17 campaign before the £30m signing made a key contribution in their Europa League success.

Mkhitaryan has made a brilliant start to the current campaign after the attacking midfielder created four goals for his team-mates in their opening two Premier League fixtures.

Mata was also named in the starting line-up for Manchester United’s 4-0 victories over West Ham United and Swansea City.

Former Manchester United defender Neville believes Mkhitaryan is effective at being the pivot in Mourinho’s midfield.

“He connects the team. He provides pace on the counter-attack,” Neville told Monday Night Football on Sky Sports.

“Manchester United have always been able to get to box to box quickly, and he provides that. He is deceptively quick. I like him in there.

“I like the way he plays.”

Manchester United are sitting at the top of the Premier League table after scoring eight goals in their opening two games.

The Red Devils will host Leicester City at Old Trafford on Saturday evening.

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