Henrikh Mkhitaryan insists he does not regret his move to Manchester United but there were aspects of how the team was covered by English media that didn’t sit well with him.
Mkhitaryan moved from Borussia Dortmund to United in 2016 for a fee in the region of £30 million but he failed to recapture the kind of form he showed in the Bundesliga when he arrived at Old Trafford.
The Armenian midfielder lasted less than two seasons at United before he was shipped off to Arsenal as part of the deal which saw Alexis Sanchez join the Red Devils.
Reflecting on his spell with United a number of years later, Mkhitaryan opened up on the problems he had with how the likes of Paul Pogba were covered in the press.
“It doesn’t matter if you are Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba or someone else, they will see something in you, small details to criticise,” Mkhitaryan told The Athletic.
“When Paul was playing everyone was criticising him for his hairstyle. I don’t think that has something to do with football, that’s his personal life. If he plays bad, criticise him for his bad performance, not his hairstyle. That’s not good. It has nothing to do with football.
“And you know, some people that don’t know him, some people who haven’t trained with him or played with him they don’t see these kinds of things.
“You have to be in the team, you have to see the way he trains, the way he thinks, the way he suffers and then say if he played good or he played bad.”
Now at Roma, Mkhitaryan looks much more like the player who was often unplayable in Germany.
The 32-year-old remains friendly with a number of his former teammates at United and Pogba is one with whom he likes to keep in contact.
“Paul Pogba, David de Gea, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford, Eric Bailly,” Mkhitaryan said when asked who he keeps in touch with from United.
“We send each other messages, I wouldn’t say every day or every month but we do when there’s an opportunity. There’s always a reason to congratulate each other.”
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