Henrikh Mkhitaryan – the Armenian International and their highest goal scorer. Mkhitaryan is also named Armenian Footballer Of The Year for every year since 2009 except in 2010.
Name: Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Date of Birth: 21 January 1989
Position: Attacking Midfielder/Winger
COMING UP THE RANKS
Mkhitaryan came up Pyunik’s youth academy after joining then at age of six. He is highly impressing since his teen days which earned him his first team debut for Pyunik at the age of seventeen.
“He can win games on his own. He seizes control at the crucial moment and scores for fun.” – Vardan Minasyan (Mkhitaryan’s head coah at Pyunik)
His performances at Pyunik earned him a move to Metalurh Donetsk.
Metalurh Donetsk was start of stardom for Mkhitaryan. Henrikh joined Metalurh in 2009 and was named captain in the following season at the age of 21 – making him the youngest ever to wear an armband for Metalurh Donetsk.
DONNING ‘THE ORANGE’
As Mkhitaryan lived up to the stardom with Metalurh Donetsk, and soon secured move to Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk. His first season individually was not as successful, only getting the ball past goalkeeper four times. Considering Shakhtar’s performance the men in orange won the treble(Ukrainian Premier League, Ukrainian Cup and Super Cup) in Mkhitaryan’s first season there.
Henrikh was named as Shakhtar’s Player of the Season in 2011-12 after an online poll conducted on Shakhtar Donetsk’s official website.
Goals eventually came for Mkhitaryan – the Armenian International’s final season in Ukraine showed fans ‘What he is all about’ after netting 29 in over 40 appearances of which 25 were scored in Ukrainian Premier League which set the record for most goals scored in a season in Ukraine’s Premier Division.
“His game awareness is perhaps his most valuable quality – that and the speed and power and technique Henrikh was gifted by nature and that he’s developed. Because of those virtues, he’s one of the players who most consistently fulfils the tasks set by the coaching staff. Working with him is fun.” – Mircea Luceseu (Mkhitaryan’s manager at Shakhtar Donetsk)
SUCCESS AT DORTMUND
Dortmund signed Henrik Mkhitaryan from Shakhtar Donetsk for club record £23.6 million. His time in Germany was absolute marvel. Coming into one of the best clubs around the globe and his first season just showed his class and where he stands.
Mkhitaryan was included in Bundesliga team of the season in his first year with Dortmund helping them to finish as runner ups in the league and DFB Pokal.
Injury prone second season is a set back to his stats with BVB, but he showed his class again his final season there and was nominated as Bundesliga Player’s Player of the season.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was now someone everyone talked about, rated as one of the best goal scoring midfielder at the time around the globe. His time with Dortmund gave him recognition and now he was linked to all the top clubs around Europe.
SETBACK WITH UNITED
His move to Manchester United was paper headline when it was announced but turned out as a complete failure. In his first and only full season at Old Trafford, Mkhitaryan was absolute beast featuring in Europa League – helping Manchester United to win the European elite title.
Mkhitaryan started the following season in absolute fantastic manner, assisting record equalling five goals in first three matches. But, his form dip soon as was replaced by Lingard in the starting eleven.
“He is a real team player with great skill, vision and also has a good eye for goal.” – Jose Mourinho(Mkhitaryan’s manager at Manchester United)
ARSENALCORE’s VERDICT: Mkhitaryan’s failure was not fully due to playing reasons. Look Henrik Mkhitaryan is a delicate player and Jose Mourinho just can’t deal with delicates. Mkhi soon fallout of favor at United and it was not because of lack of commitment on Henrik’s side but because of improper management.
BECOMING A GOONER
Arsenal completed signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Manchester United in a swap deal with Alexis Sanchez going the other way.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s debut for the Gunners came at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium on 30 January 2018, replacing Mohammed Elneny in the hour mark. Arsenal went to lose the fixture 3-1. Mkhitaryan was joined by compatriot Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Arsenal on transfer deadline day.
Mkhitaryan made his Arsenal full debut at Emirates Stadium against Everton on 3 February 2018 and it turned out to be the one to remember for a long long time. Henrikh finished the game with hat-trick of assists as Arsenal went on to win the fixture 5-1.
Mkhitaryan made his European debut for Arsenal against Europa League minnows Ostersund on 15 February. Arsenal won the fixture 0-3 with three crucial away goals and Mkhitaryan laid down the final goal for Mesut Ozil. The Armenian international will be wearing Jersey No. ’77’ for the Europa League fixtures this season with Arsenal already using No. ‘7’ with Alexis Sanchez before his departure.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored his first goal for Arsenal against AC Milan at San Siro in Europa League’s round of sixteen fixture. Arsenal won the first leg with a comfortable 2 goal cushion.