Arsene Wenger says Henrikh Mkhitaryan is available to play against Manchester United, and the manager won’t hold him back.

First, speaking in a press conference ahead of the match this Sunday, Wenger seemed positive about the 29-year-old’s chances to be ready for Atletico Madrid on Thursday at the very least. As for Manchester United, the manager said a start was still a possibility.

“He has a chance,” Wenger said. “If he’s ready I’ll play him. I don’t know yet [whether I will rest players]. Maybe it’s better to play. I will have to see how everybody responds.”

Then, the boss gave a further update, telling the Arsenal website that “Mkhitaryan is available.”

Mkhitaryan is slowly making his way back to the action after picking up a knee injury against CSKA Moscow. Arsenal were 4-1 up at the time, but haven’t won either of their Europa League matches since. For me, that’s no coincidence.

The former Manchester United man has two goals and six assists in 12 appearances so far. More than just his final ball though, Mkhitaryan links up with other players well and spreads Arsenal’s creativity around the field. That allows other players, in particular Mesut Özil, a bit more freedom.

On Sunday, the result hardly matters at all. Arsenal are four points ahead of Burnley with a game in hand, and six points behind Chelsea. Realistically, they’re going to finish sixth.

Still, it could help Mkhitaryan, or other members of the team, to build momentum ahead of Thursday. That’s what’s important.