Henrikh Mkhitaryan insists he doesn’t have anything to prove after his move to Arsenal in January but wants to learn more from Arsene Wenger.
During his season-and-a-half at Manchester United, Miki only made 26 Premier League starts and struggled to consistently fit into Jose Mourinho’s starting XI.
Given the ex-Chelsea coach’s playing style is far more defensive than Dortmund’s, which Miki was used to, the Armenian found himself trying to fill a role he wasn’t prepared for.
“I don’t want to find excuses,” he said, reports the Evening Standard. “I don’t want to blame anyone but I am happy that this [half of the] season passed already. 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.”
Since moving to Arsenal, who tried to sign him in 2016, Miki is feeling far more positive about his future and says he’s looking forward to learning more from Wenger, potentially throwing cold water over talk of the Frenchman leaving north London in the summer.
“Of course sometimes you need some refreshing,” Miki told ESPN Brasil. “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. I’ve learned a lot from my previous two managers, Klopp and Mourinho, and I want to learn more from Arsene Wenger as well. And 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.”
If Miki is keen to learn from Wenger, it suggests that the boss has given him some reassurances about his future. Otherwise, would the 29-year-old have chosen to join Arsenal?
If he joined the club to play under a specific manager, would he have just stayed in Manchester if he knew Wenger was leaving six months after he joined?
To be honest, as much as the playmaker probably is looking forward to playing under Le Professeur, I’m not sure he was the main reason Miki left United.
Given the midfielder’s age, I imagine he just wants game time and a coach that appreciates him, which he knows Wenger does.
Saying that, I do at least think that Wenger will see out the final year of his contract at Arsenal.