Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that he is concerned by how new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s confidence may have been effected by his disappointing spell with Manchester United.
Speaking before The Gunners Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea at The Emirates tonight the French coach said:
“Yes, of course you worry about how much it has affected him,”
“But as well but it’s a new chance for him, what you want in life is a new chance and I’m sure with his quality that he will take it. I met him at the time (he moved to United), at the time we were close but in the end it didn’t work.”
Interestingly, Wenger also confirmed that Arsenal had come close to signing the Armenia international before he joined United from German side Borussia Dortmund.
Mkhitaryan came to England with a reputation as one of Europes top attacking midfielders, having enjoyed three goal and assist filled seasons in the Bundesliga.
He joined United in the summer of 2016, and although he struggled to acclimatise to life in the Premier League at first, he finished last season strongly and scored the winner in the Europa League final last May.
He then started this season in blistering form and Red Devils fans were hopeful that they were about to see the best of him on a regular basis, but his form soon tailed off and he fell down the pecking order in Jose Mourinho’s squad.
There were also rumours off a falling out between United’s manager and Mkhitaryan over footballing philosophy. Perhaps a move to London to play under a coach that clearly believes in him, and is renowned for playing an attractive brand of attacking football is exactly what the talented 29-year-old needs to kickstart his career again.
He is cup tied for tomorrows night game, so the earliest Gunners fans can expect to see him in a Arsenal shirt will be when they face Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on January 30th.