Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has cast doubt over Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s ability to succeed at the Emirates this season.
The Armenian said a tearful goodbye to Manchester United teammates on Friday as he nears a move to North London, with Alexis Sanchez going the other way.
Many expected the transfer to be done by now, but agent Mino Raiola remains in negotiations with Arsenal to ensure his client becomes the club’s highest earner.
And Petit, reflecting on the transfer, was notably doubtful over whether Mkhitaryan would succeed under Arsene Wenger.
“Since he signed for United, he hasn’t been involved enough, and I’m not sure he has a winning mentality,” he said.
“Sometimes he reminds me of Mesut Ozil – you really have to push him to show his character, and put him under pressure to display his best qualities.
“There’s no doubt he has great skill, but I’m not sure he’s the kind of footballer Arsenal need. They should be focussed on other positions.”
Any Arsenal fan trying to spin this transfer as a victory for them is nothing short of laughable.
Mkhitaryan is, without doubt, a good player and a wonderful technician, but the bare facts are that, at the age of 28, he has enjoyed just one storming season at the top level in his senior career – the 2015/16 campaign with Borussia Dortmund. Only then did he deserve to be considered as one of the best No.10s in the game.
Put simply, he is a player with talent at his disposal but not the capacity to unleash it regularly, or when it truly matters. And you can’t help but feel as if Arsenal have enough of those players as it is.