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Friday 22 September 2017

Aggression key to Mkhitaryan success - agent

Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Henrikh Mkhitaryan's agent believes the Manchester United playmaker has become more aggressive since his summer transfer.

Mkhitaryan, 27, joined United from Borussia Dortmund in a £26.3million switch and, after a difficult time in which he was restricted to one start in his first three months, the Armenian has won four man of the match awards and scored twice over the last month.

Although he is currently sidelined through injury, Mkhitaryan seems assured of regaining his place in the United first-team once he returns and his representative Mino Raiola insists Mkhitaryan's adaptation to the rigours of the Premier League has triggered an improvement in his form.

"You have to say that he showed his class in Germany, but I now see an even more aggressive determined player than in Germany," Raiola said.

"He was more elegant but now he is more aggressive, like a player in the Premier League needs when you don't have the ball."

Mkhitaryan missed United's wins over Crystal Palace and West Brom following a crude challenge by Tottenham defender Danny Rose during his matchwinning performance.

Meanwhile, Benfica appear to be planning for Victor Lindelof's likely transfer to United after they played their last game of the calendar year on Wednesday night.

The Portuguese champions overcame Rio Ave 2-0 to remain top of the Primeira Liga just days after talks between their representatives and United escalated over 22-year-old Lindelof.

Sweden international Lindelof started in what could have been his last appearance for the Eagles.

When asked about Lindelof's future, Benfica coach Rui Vitoria admitted the club were prepared for his probable departure.

"I don't know anything and have nothing concrete to say about this particular case," Vitoria said.

"The players know the demands made on them by representing this great club and the pride they must have in wearing this shirt, and while they're here they always have to play with their heart and soul.

"Sometimes players have to leave because their careers, their age, the way they are playing and developing means there will be clubs interested who can give them a different life and take them on a different path.

"If this happens, we have solutions. We have a B team packed with great players and in the short term some of them will be playing for Benfica's first-team."

Lindelof's agent Hasan Cetinkaya said: "There's an offer on the table. I'm going to sit down with Victor. We've got to think carefully."

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