Henrikh Mkhitaryan insists he’s not just an Alexis Sanchez replacement, and he wants to become an Arsenal legend in his own right.
In January, Mkhitaryan was part of a swap deal that saw Sanchez going in the other direction to Manchester United. However, the 29-year-old says the move was really all up to him, since the Chilean’s contract was running out this summer either way.
“Everyone needs to understand that I wasn’t just part of a deal for Alexis Sanchez,” he explained in the May edition of the FourFourTwo magazine. “If I hadn’t chosen to come to Arsenal, he would still be here until the summer. His contract was running out and everything was up to me.
“I joined Arsenal because Arsene Wenger wanted me, not because he wanted to replace Sanchez. We are different players and different characters, with different abilities and skills, so I will try my best to do everything for the club.”
Now the Armenian international wants to prove that point by making a name for himself at the club.
“I want to write my name into Arsenal’s history and have my name as a legend here. I want to score goals, make assists and win trophies to make the fans happy.”
By all accounts, the former Borussia Dortmund man has made a great start to life in North London. In 12 games so far he has two goals and six assists, as well as two Arsenal Player of the Month awards and one Arsenal Goal of the Month award.
Unfortunately, an badly timed injury is going to slow down his progress a bit. Arsene Wenger says the player has ligament damage, and he’ll be out for at least a couple of weeks.
That could be particularly damaging in the Europa League campaign. Arsenal play their Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid at the end of April. Losing the player who opened the scoring at the San Siro in the last-16 is far from ideal.
Hopefully the team can keep progressing in Mkhitaryan’s absence, and he can return in time to help win his second Europa League trophy in two years.