Henrikh Mkhitaryan says it’s too early to compare Arsene Wenger with Jose Mourinho or Jurgen Klopp, but admits it was the best moment for him to leave Manchester United because now he wants to make his name ‘bigger’.
Speaking to the Brazilian media, Mkhitaryan said that his career needed refreshing. He only made 16 starts in the first half of the season for Manchester United. Perhaps even more importantly, he completed 90 minutes just three times.
The midfielder’s performances in Manchester suffered as a result. By contrast, 90 minutes with Arsenal last weekend brought three assists. It seems like his hopes for a new beginning aren’t completely ridiculous, then.
“Of course sometimes you need some refreshing,” the playmaker told ESPN Brasil (via SportWitness). “And I think this was the best moment for me, because there were a few things that didn’t work out in Manchester.
“Because I was 29 years old, I wanted to play more, because I know that in a few years time I’ll be able to end my football career, and it’s very important for me to make my name bigger.
“That’s why, maybe, it was the best moment, and the best time to change something and to get a new challenge, a new club, and start everything from zero.”
Klopp, Mourinho and Wenger
Now, half of the managers in the big-six have managed Mkhitaryan. Inevitably, that brings questions from journalists about how working under each one compares to the others. The Armenian says it’s too soon for all that, just a couple of weeks into his Arsenal career.
“I’ve learned a lot from my previous two managers, Klopp and Mourinho,” he said. “I want to learn more from Arsene Wenger as well.
“It’s too early to compare them to each other, I still need time to work with Arsene Wenger. Of course from the time being here I’ve learned a lot already, and I want to learn more.”
As much as the change in manager could help, I think the change in style of play and position is just as important. Mkhitaryan often had to drop a lot deeper with Manchester United, but at Dortmund he could express himself further forward.
Against Everton, Wenger gave him the chance to do the same thing, playing him as a wide-forward. Mkhitaryan grabbed that chance with both feet.
Hopefully he continues to do so for the rest of the season.