Henrikh Mkhitaryan has vowed to hit top form both in the Premier League and in Europe for Manchester United this season.
The Armenia international has enjoyed a strong start to 2017-18, registering one goal and five assists in his side’s first six league matches.
It marks a stark contrast to Mkhitaryan’s fortunes at the start of last season following his move from Borussia Dortmund, with manager Jose Mourinho dropping him from the side for several weeks after a poor display in the Manchester derby defeat at Old Trafford in October.
Mkhitaryan won back his place but reserved his best performances for the Europa League, scoring six times – including in the 2-0 final win over Ajax.
However, when it was suggested to the 28-year-old on Tuesday that his form in domestic games does not match those in Europe, he insisted that will not be the case this term.
“I think that was last season. This season is different,” he told a news conference ahead of United’s Champions League clash with CSKA Moscow.
“I am working very hard in training, to be ready for Premier League games. I have started the season well and I am doing my best to help the team.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 26, 2017
“Last season, I had lots of injuries and couldn’t feel good in games. This season is good and the connection between me and other players is very good and we understand each other very well and hopefully we can score lots more.
“I have worked very hard and will continue to make sure there is no limit. I have worked hard to get a place and I know that to get picked every game you have to work hard in training so the manager can trust you to play. I have started very well and will do my best to carry on.”
United started Group A with a 3-0 home win over Basel and have a good record in Russia, where they have yet to lose a European match and where they lifted the Champions League trophy in 2008 after a win over Chelsea in the final in Moscow.
Mkhitaryan says United’s aim is to go all the way this season but warned against underestimating Viktor Goncharenko’s side.
“This year, we have the Champions League and we are all concentrating on winning it,” he said. “We are a massive club and we will do everything we can to get to the final.
“I watch a lot of CSKA games in the Russian league and they have a lot of experience in their team. But Champions League games are very different to Russian league games and I expect them to play differently.”