Henrikh Mkhitaryan has noted that he won’t dwell on what went wrong at Manchester United this season, insisting he wanted to focus on a new chapter in his life instead.
The Armenian begun the 2017/18 campaign as one of Man United’s best attacking players, claiming five assists in his first three games, but his form rapidly dwindled as time went on.
By November he was miles away from the starting XI and duly joined Arsenal over the January transfer window in a straight swap deal that saw Alexis Sanchez come to Old Trafford.
And Mkhitaryan, when asked abut his time at United, made it clear that he wanted to look forward rather than back.
“I don’t want to find excuses,” he said.
“I don’t want to blame anyone…I am starting a new chapter in my life, in my football career and I am very happy to be here.
“I will be pleased to achieve more than I have done in Manchester, of course. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone. I just have to enjoy myself, do my best and at the end I will see where I can reach.”
Mkhitaryan will be much more at home playing under Arsene Wenger. Arsenal’s 5-1 demolition of Everton, during which he claimed three assists, was a glowing example of the pristine, zipping, penetrative attacking nous in the final third that will allow the Armenian to enjoy football once again. Of course, West Bromwich Albion away will be a different kettle of fish, but nobody at Arsenal seems to worry about that.
But the bottom line is that he will be happier. Mkhitaryan, while occasionally brilliant, never looked like a Jose Mourinho player. The Emirates will be kinder to him.
And yet, at the same time, you can detect a tint of sadness in his words when he looks back at his Old Trafford days. That was his chance to announce himself at a giant club rather than just a fantastic club (in the words of Mourinho) and he didn’t take it. Such a notion probably explains why Mkhitaryan just wants to focus on the future.