Henrikh Mkhitaryan has confirmed he prefers to play in the middle more than on the wing, but the most important thing is just that he can help the team.
Mkhitaryan recently returned to the pitch after injury, playing 45 minutes against West Ham United’s u23s in a game that was called off at half-time over intense fog. Despite the match abandonment, the Armenian international got the competitive minutes under his belt and he’s now back and available for first-team action.
In preparation for his return, Mkhitaryan reconnected with the Arsenal fans in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). Supporters sent in their questions and the 30-year-old gave his answers in replies on the site.
One question from an Armenian supporter was about which position the former Borussia Dortmund man prefers to play. He’s played out wide and in the middle in the past, but admits he likes the number 10 role more.
“I like to play in the centre more than on the wing but playing on the wing, you have a different plan of the game,” Mkhitaryan explained. “The most important thing is to play. It doesn’t matter where! I am just trying to help the team as much as I can and to make proud my fellow Armenians.”
Anyone who’s watched Arsenal this season will know Unai Emery doesn’t tend to use Mkhitaryan in the middle very often. For the most part, the player has been put out on the right wing, with limited success.
In fairness, the best season of Mkhitaryan’s career was the 2015/16 campaign with Borussia Dortmund, where he regularly played out wide. 43 of his 52 appearances came as a winger that season, and he scored 23 goals and assisted 32 (including penalties won).
Perhaps Mkhitaryan prefers the central positions, but Arsenal already have very capable players there, like Mesut Özil and Aaron Ramsey. Mkhitaryan is likely to stay out wide for the next few months at least.