Arsenal are interested in bringing Henrikh Mkhitaryan to the Emirates this summer and will go all out for the midfielder according to the Guardian. The Armenian international is out of contract in 2017 and is undecided whether or not to sign a new deal with his current club.
Mkhitaryan is understood to be unsure where his future lies and reports claim Arsenal have sent scouts to watch the midfielder and have further monitored his progress via video clips. There is also reported interest from Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur so Arsenal would have to move fast to have any chance of landing their target.
Mkhitaryan has impressed this season under new coach Thomas Tuchel and has scored a very impressive 20 goals in 43 appearances. Since his £23.5million move from Shakhtar Donetsk, Mkhitaryan has been very clinical and has proved how important he is for the Bundesliga giants, he is technically gifted with an impressive goal scoring record and can play anywhere across the three behind the striker.
The 27-year-old attacking midfielder has also scored 16 goals in 57 games at international level for his home country Armenia.
Borussia Dortmund are desperate to keep hold of one of their key players and are set to offer Mkhitaryan a new contract with a huge pay rise, but the club will be aware that if they cannot agree terms on a new contract they may be forced to sell Mkhitaryan this summer or risk losing him for free in 2017.
Arsenal are almost certain to let go of Flamini, Arteta and Rosicky whose contracts all run out this summer. Mkhitaryan would be seen as an ideal replacement for Rosicky, with the likes of Flamini and Arteta to also be replaced with a new central midfielder as the Gunners are aware they must strengthen their core this summer. They have also been linked with Granit Xhaka in recent weeks.
If Arsenal are to move for Mkhitaryan it would more than likely be for him to play on the right wing.
So how does Mkhitaryan compare with Arsenal’s current crop of wingers, will he be a major improvement on Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Joel Campbell?
A stat that really impresses me is Mkhitaryan’s chances created, a very impressive 2.81 which is way ahead of the others. Chamberlain is second with 1.83, whilst Walcott (1.19) and Campbell (1.04) are significantly behind the top two. Arsenal have really struggled for goals this season scoring only 48 goals in 30 games, Mkhitaryan once again shows his goal-scoring ability by having the highest score with 0.39. Campbell is closely behind on 0.31 with Walcott on 0.28. Chamberlain has been heavily criticised for his goal scoring record at Arsenal and that stat shows as he only scores sporadically (0.10). The Gunners crave a goalscoring midfielder at the moment and Mkhitaryan appears to be just that.
Chamberlain has a very impressive 23.49 total passes forward whilst Mkhitaryan is very close behind on 21.95, Campbell is third with 15.86 and Walcott is last on 10.44. Being able to beat the defender playing on the wing is key as it helps you build up an attack, Chamberlain scores a very impressive 3.47 for successful take-ons with Mkhitaryan in second on 2.68, Campbell is once again third with a less pleasing 1.56, Walcott follows closely with 1.54. Arsenal have a certain way of playing football, they love to have the ball, it has been said that Arsenal play ‘Wenger ball’ involving neat one two’s and keeping the ball on the floor. When you come to Arsenal if you cannot already you learn to keep possession and have nice neat passing, Chamberlain once again has an impressive score with 82% pass completion, Walcott is second with 79% with Campbell just behind on 78%, Mkhitaryan is last on this occasion scoring 75% on completed passing.
In summary, Mkhitaryan would be a top class signing for the Gunners, he can score goals and create a lot of chances. Competition for places with be tough but Arsenal need players who can give the squad that extra lift, the interest is clearly there, but the interest from other clubs may get Mkhitaryan a new contract which he desire.
The Armenian international, if he did arrive, would be likely to replace Oxlade-Chamberlain in the squad, who has been rumoured with an exit this summer. Walcott’s position has also been questioned as Arsene Wenger targets a summer shake-up. As Arsenal search for more attacking efficiency, the Armenian certainly appears a good fit.
Statistics sourced from Squawka