​Jose Mourinho says that Henrikh Mkhitaryan needs time to adapt to English football, but has backed the Armenian to become a "top player" according to the club's official website


The former Borussia Dortmund man has not featured for the Reds since the Manchester derby on the 10th September, but this is in part due to an injury he suffered in the recent round of international games.

Manchester United v Manchester City - EFL Cup Fourth Round

Mourinho confirmed, however, that Mkhitaryan is no longer injured and is working hard on his fitness.


"He is not injured, sometimes I confuse the word 'fit' in the English language. Sometimes you can say that it is 'not injured', but you could also say that you are in great condition and ready to compete. That is different for me as we use different words in Portuguese for the different situations. Mkhitaryan is not injured, he is training with the team 100 per cent."


Mourinho then continued to say that players need time to adapt to the intensity and competitiveness of the Premier League


"I think so, yes. Some players find it very easy whereas others need more time. They need time to feel the intensity, the aggression, the game without the ball and the competitiveness.


"The realities are often different, particularly in terms of the competitiveness. It doesn't matter who you are against, you have to play at the highest level otherwise you will not be able to do it. Micki needs time to become the top player he knows he can be."


The 'Special One' then drew on his experience with Willian at Chelsea, who after joining in the summer of 2013 took several months before he blossomed in a blue shirt

Manchester United v Manchester City - EFL Cup Fourth Round

"I don't like to speak about players from other clubs because I don't want to be misinterpreted, but I don't think he'll mind. A player who had a problem to play when he first arrived was Willian. He went through a process and then, after a few months, he became a top player. 


"Then, when we won the championship, he was phenomenal and still is. That is just an example. Similarly, Di Maria had to learn a lot about his game when he came into Madrid from Portugal. Sometimes this is what happens. It happens with defenders, but it is often easier for them to adapt than attackers. Some go straight to success and others it takes more time.


"In Micki's case the process was interrupted by injury, which does not help the process of evolution. Being out for a month meant he has had to go through the process of getting match-fit, then once he has that he needs the competitive level to do it. We believe him and, sooner or later, there will be no problem."

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