Man United faces 3 months without defender Eric Bailly

It was shortly before Christmas 2016 that Henrikh Mkhitaryan finally began to make an impression on Jose Mourinho, ending nearly three months in isolation to truly announce himself as a Manchester United player.

Bailly has not played since the 1-0 Premier League defeat at Chelsea on November 5, after sustaining the injury on worldwide duty with the Ivory Coast.

"Bailly goes to surgery - the decision is made".

Sources told ESPN FC in September that Mourinho was unhappy with Mkhitaryan's contribution against United's top-six rivals, but the player appeared to have overcome his manager's reservations by making an impressive start to the season with two goals and five assists in all competitions.

He was finally dropped, after continually being given chances by Mourinho, following Man United's 1-0 defeat away to Premier League champions at Stamford Bridge.

Shaw has also struggled to convince Mourinho of his long-term worth, although the 22-year-old has recently forced his way back into contention and started the midweek league win over Bournemouth.

Last time around it took a lot of hard work and adaptation for Mkhitaryan to win Mourinho over, and if he doesn't deliver the same again it could spell the beginning of the end of his Manchester United career as well as sending the club for an unscheduled visit to the supermarket come January. I had that experience before.

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"I knew it wasn't going to be an easy job. Marcos Rojo was injured [against Manchester City] but nothing really big", Mourinho said.

"I don't like the January market just to buy [for the sake of it] but if you can buy a player in January that you would buy in June or July and can get him a few months before, then great".

"It was good for my development as a manager, which is something [developing] that I always try to do".

"But I had that experience before in other clubs".

Mourinho said: "I didn't celebrate either".

"But there are players and situations that sometimes you have the chance to do and you shouldn't lose that chance".