MANCHESTER, Sporting Alert – Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Phil Jones were both included in Manchester United travelling squad for Thursday’s Europa League clash at Fenerbahce.
Mkhitaryan has been limited with the first team because of an injury, while Jones is still trying to stay fit enough to start registering competitive minutes this season.
In fact, Jones is yet to featured this term for Manchester United after the England international suffered a knee ligament injury in August.
He was scheduled to have a few more days off, but injuries to fellow defenders Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Antonio Valencia have forced manager Jose Mourinho to recall the versatile defender.
“I almost don’t remember when Phil Jones had a good run of matches for Manchester United. He’s having a difficult relationship with the injuries,” the United boss said.
“He’s having a difficult relationship with injuries and it’s been difficult this season for him, but he worked hard to recover and he’s training with the team for more than a week now.”
“We are in a difficult situation because we lost three defenders in a week – Valencia, Bailly and Smalling.
“We have to select him and maybe we have to play him.”
Meanwhile, Mkhitaryan, who has not played since being substituted at halftime in the defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League in September, is also in the travelling party.
Mourinho revealed last month that Mkhitaryan was fit and is training well, but the former Borussia Dortmund playmaker has been constantly overlooked by the Red Devils boss.
It is understood, however, Mourinho believes the away game against Fenerbahce would be the ideal time to recall his summer recruit.
In the meantime, veteran central midfielder Michael Carrick and winger Memphis Depay were both excluded from the squad.
Reports reaching Sporting Alert claims that Depay did not impress the manager in training this week and therefore was left out, while Carrick reportedly missed out because Mourinho wants to have him fresh for this weekend’s clash at Swansea City.
Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, Morgan Schneiderlin, Anthony Martial and Ander Herrera, who is banned for the game against Swansea, were all among the travellers to Istanbul.
Manchester United (squad): De Gea, Romero, Johnstone; Blind, Jones, Darmian, Fosu-Mensah, Rojo, Shaw; Fellaini, Herrera, Mkhitaryan, Lingard, Mata, Pogba, Schneiderlin, Young; Ibrahimovic, Martial, Rashford, Rooney.