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Jose Mourinho backs Henrikh Mkhitaryan to adapt at Man United

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Henrikh Mkhitaryan is available for selection and has backed the player to come good eventually.

Mkhitaryan, a summer signing from Borussia Dortmund, has been left out of recent matchday squads despite recovering from a thigh problem and Mourinho has claimed that the player needs time to adapt.

"Mkhitaryan is not injured, he is training with the team 100 percent," Mourinho told a news conference. "Some players have the profile of adapting easily, but some other players need more time to feel the intensity.

"Some players need time to feel the competitiveness and the level of work without the ball. Mkhi needs time to become the top player we know he can be.

"I don't like to speak about players from other clubs but Willian, when he arrived at Chelsea, had problems. He went through a process.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has struggled after being out with a thigh strain.

"When [Angel] Di Maria arrived in Madrid from Portugal, he had to adapt his game to a new reality, but he did it. Of course we believe in Mkhi and, sooner or later, there will be no problem."

While Mkhitaryan has not featured for United since the derby defeat against Manchester City on Sept. 10, Michael Carrick has fought back into the starting XI. The 35-year-old midfielder was impressive when he featured for 90 minutes on Wednesday in the 1-0 win over City in the EFL Cup.

Mourinho admits, though, that he needs to look after Carrick because of his age and says "it's a pity you can't stop the clock."

The United manager said: "He is phenomenal. I have to manage him. I cannot expect from him what I expect from [Marcus] Rashford and [Ander] Herrera.

"When he's on the pitch, he gives us important things: stability in our game and mental freedom to the other guys.

"He's not just a player, he is someone who has a big understanding of the game. Michael is such an important player and very difficult to replace."

Arindam is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @ARejSport.

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