Henrikh Mkhitaryan says he can’t understand why some football pundits think he can’t play in the same team as Mesut Özil.
When Mkhitaryan signed for Arsenal in January, many people asked how he was going to fit in the team. He and Özil have pretty similar skill-sets, creating chances for fun, and scoring slightly less regularly. They also both look at their best on the right-hand side.
The Armenian doesn’t think this will be a problem though, and just enjoys playing with such a talented player.
“Some people are saying we cannot play together, but I can’t understand these people that are saying that,” he told ESPN. “I’m just enjoying playing with Mesut and he’s an amazing football player.
“I’m getting better playing with him, everyone knows his skills, abilities, so why not? Everything is possible, why not have two No. 10s on a pitch?”
Playing both players at once has worked out pretty well so far. Mkhitaryan is already up to five assists for Arsenal, in just three starts. All of those assists came with Özil also on the pitch, and the most recent one was a pass to the German himself.
The pair didn’t combine so well against Tottenham, but that was always going to be a tough game. Especially considering it was the first match they’d started together away from home, and Arsenal’s away form has been terrible.
Mkhitaryan admits there’s still some room to get better, despite the generally positive start.
“You know, even if we [Arsenal] play very good, there’s always room for improvement,” he said. “Even if we were playing offensive football, we can still improve. I mean maybe we can improve in every aspect. It doesn’t matter if we are strong in one side and weak in the other — I think there are a lot of spaces for improvement.”
Arsenal will have to be a lot better in their next trip to Wembley for the Carabao Cup on Sunday, if they want any chance of lifting the trophy. Of course, Mkhitaryan won’t be able to take part in that one, since he’s cup-tied from his time with United.
Instead, he’ll have to focus on the Europa League and the fight for top four. From the sounds of things, he’s up for it.