Why Arsenal parting ways with Henrikh Mkhitaryan is ideal for both parties
This ends his underwhelming stint with Arsenal after he arrived from Manchester United as a part of a swap deal involving Alexis Sanchez.
Mkhitaryan started his footballing journey way back in 2006 when he debuted for FC Pyunik at the age of 17. Three years later, he joined Metalurh Donetsk in the Ukrainian Premier League. Within one season, Shakhtar Donetsk came calling and he enjoyed a fruitful spell with the club until 2013.
It was then when Europe’s top clubs started taking notice and Borussia Dortmund would win his signature. He was essentially replacing Mario Goetze, who was joining Bayern Munich.
His stellar form did not go unnoticed as English giants Manchester United signed him in 2016. After a decent first season in which he won the League Cup and Europa League, his form started to go downhill. He was eventually sold to Arsenal in a swap deal that saw Alexis Sanchez head to Manchester.
Things weren’t too good at Arsenal either and he eventually joined Roma on loan at the start of the 2019-20 season.
A decision that suits both the player and the club
Henrikh Mkhitaryan performed reasonably well for Roma over the last year where he scored 9 goals and managed 6 assists in 27 appearances across all competitions (source – Transfermarkt). This is more than he managed in his last 2 years in England, in terms of goals.
Clearly, the style of play in Italy suited the player much better. Mkhitaryan never looked comfortable with the physical and fast-paced nature of the English game.
Arsenal, on the other hand, have looked better off without him, given the performances of Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka under coach Mikel Arteta. With Willian coming in this season, it was pretty clear that there was no room for Mkhitaryan.
- Why Arsenal must go ahead in their pursuit of Houssem Aouar
- Why Leeds United should move for Calum Chambers
Although Arsenal would not get any cash from the deal, the fact that they won’t have to pay his sizable salary of £180,000-a-week would be welcome news. They can divert these funds to other deals if required.
For the player, it represents a chance to continue with last season’s good showing in a league that works more to his strengths.