Some interesting comments from former Manchester United player Henrikh Mkhitaryan about life in North London and how he is determined to turn Arsenal’s ailing fortunes around and become a Gunners legend
The Armenian playmaker arrived from Manchester United in January as part of a swap deal with Alexis Sanchez, following a stop-start 18-month spell at Old Trafford.
Despite flashes of brilliance, including a scorpion kick volley against Sunderland and six goals in United’s run to 2017 Europa League glory, Mkhitaryan struggled to hold down a regular spot in Jose Mourinho’s side, making just 26 league starts.
Eager to make an early impression at the Emirates Stadium, the 29-year-old assisted three goals on his home debut against Everton as Arsene Wenger’s men obliterated the Toffees 5-1.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk string-puller reveals that he didn’t need to think twice about relocating to north London, because he was keen to be part of an attack-minded Gunners team.
Speaking exclusively in the May 2018 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, Mkhitaryan says:
“When I heard I could swap Man United for Arsenal, I said, ‘Yes, I want to do that’, I didn’t think twice. It’s important for me to play in an offensive team.
“I couldn’t have imagined a better start. I’d missed playing offensively. I joined Arsenal because Wenger wanted me, not because he wanted to replace Sanchez. We are different players and characters, with different abilities and skills, so I’ll try my best to do everything for the club.”
The Gunners are now 13 points shy of the Premier League’s top four places, meaning they must win the Europa League in this campaign to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Mkhitaryan’s first Arsenal goal helped see off Milan in the last 16 and set up a quarter-final with CSKA Moscow, and the Armenian says he is focused on adding more trophies to the Gunners’ cabinet.
“I want to write my name into Arsenal’s history and have my name as a legend here,” says the midfielder. “I want to score goals, make assists and win trophies to make the fans happy.”