Manchester United will not finish in the top four unless they start playing Henrikh Mkhitaryan, according to former England international Owen Hargreaves, reports.
Mkhitaryan was overlooked for the United matchday squad against Burnley by Jose Mourinho for the fifth game running since the domestic schedule resumed two weeks ago.
The Armenian returned to training almost five weeks ago but his prolonged absence has mystified supporters and United have taken a paltry six points from a possible 21 in the Premier League.
United are eighth in the table and seven points off fourth, and Hargreaves insists Mourinho needs to recall Mkhitaryan and Michael Carrick if Old Trafford is to host Champions League football next season.
“What are they eighth in the Premier League? You’ve got to play him,” Hargreaves said on BT Sport.
“What he’s tried now so far – he doesn’t believe he’s been given time – hasn’t worked so at some point get one of the best players you have on your team into your team.
“I think the back four is very strong, best goalkeeper in the country. I think you play Carrick, I think you play Herrera to the right, Pogba to the left, Rashford off the left and Mkhitaryan off the right.
“And I think as a team, I genuinely believe it’s a a good a team [as any] in the Premier League. “But right now that team as it is, I don’t think they can finish in the top four.”
Mkhitaryan has not played since he was substituted on his full debut against City on September 10.