Phil Neville is convinced Jose Mourinho has made the correct decision to ditch under-performing, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and insists the move is purely ‘business’.
Mkhitaryan has found himself on the fringes at Old Trafford after an impressive start to the season.
His fast beginning to the season saw him provide five assists and score one goal in his opening five Premier League matches but he hasn’t contributed towards a goal since the middle of September.
And Neville believes Mourinho is right to keep him out of the team.
‘Gary [Neville] highlighted at the weekend how many players from Sir Alex Ferguson’s era are still at United – and I think what it shows is how good a judge Sir Alex was,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘He brought players who were going to stay around and you’ve got to be a certain character to play under Jose; similar characteristics to what Sir Alex looked for.
‘Ashley Young is a good example. He works hard and is a winner, so it is no coincidence that a lot of Sir Alex’s players are still there.
‘Yes, they’ve spent a lot on players but maybe there are fewer and fewer players of that mentality available. You need to have them in the spine of your team.
‘There’s a lot of criticism of Jose’s treatment of Henrikh Mkhitaryan but he ultimately didn’t deliver when he’s played. He’s not unlucky, he’s lucky he gets to play for United.
‘Under Sir Alex, if I didn’t perform I wasn’t in the team. People need to stop sugar-coating it. If you don’t perform then you don’t get in the team or a new contract, it’s not Jose being personal, it’s business.’
Meanwhile, United travel to Bristol City on Wednesday for Carabao quarter final clash with the championship outfit. And United’s boss Mourinho has given a hint that the 28-year old Armenian could play.
‘I am making a few changes for the match, not many because Bristol is one of the best team in the Championship and for me now the Championship is not the Championship of five or 10 years ago.
‘The Championship is now high quality teams with lots of players that could be playing in the Premier League easily.
So we need to take the game really seriously. But I am going to make a few changes. And it’s possible Micki is involved.