Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be far better off playing away from Manchester United, according to Armenia’s national team coach Artur Petrosyan.
The 29-year-old was Man United’s first ever player from Armenia, and provided some special moments for the Reds, including being one of the most important players in Jose Mourinho’s side’s victorious UEFA Europa League run.
Petrosyan said he was happy that Mkhitaryan has escaped United and Mourinho after the attacking midfielder joined Arsenal in a straight player-swap deal that saw Alexis Sanchez go the other way.
Sanchez was the main man in the transfer after Mkhitaryan’s value at United dropped significantly in the last few months of his 18-month career at the club.
“We are very happy with this transfer from Manchester United,” Petrosyan said.
“His style of play will be better suited at Arsenal.”
It’s a fair point. Mkhitaryan, in a way, benefits from having a team built around his fantastic technical ability and is helped by others protecting him. He wasn’t given that at United and Mourinho’s style of play didn’t suit the Armenian particularly well.
At Arsenal, he will fit in better, something that manager Mourinho admitted.
“It is my impression that I think Henrikh had a problem with the coach [Mourinho],” 46-year-old Petrosyan said “and, at Arsenal, it will be another thing and not the same situation. There will not be so much pressure on him defensively.”
Mkhitaryan looks set to make his debut for the Gunners on Tuesday night against Swansea City. United fans bid farewell to their ‘midfield Armenian’ with sadness, it was hardly a good riddance.
He showed his fantastic quality at times, but just not consistently enough. Maybe at Arsenal, he will.