By Adam Joseph
Henrikh Mkhitaryan might never be trending higher than he is right now. The Armenian International and Borussia Dortmund number 10 has become the most in demand name in football not named Paul Pogba. The most exciting part about that? It’s looking as if it could be in Manchester.
That’s the red side of Manchester of course, if you believe Di Marzio’s latest reports:
It seems as if after a couple of weeks of pandering about fees, Dortmund will meet United halfway and settle for a fee in the range of €38 million, granting him a move he has pleaded for through his agent since the beginning of the summer.
Whilst nothing is set in stone and it is not official yet, Manchester United fans are googling their potential new man furiously in an attempt to wrap their heads around their new signing by the time he arrives.
Despite loving football, it is not always possible to follow multiple leagues. United fans are Premier League die hards, and the majority of them watch United play, other Premier League fixtures or European Football, depending whose on the television at the time.
The reality is that it can be very difficult to watch foreign leagues. Domestically they play at similar times to your own team, and not many people apart from the most obsessed fans has time to watch teams outside of their own. Sure FIFA and Football Manager can help fans learn names, but truly learning about the Mkhitaryan types can be hard.
Dortmund’s incredible rise under Jürgen Klopp has been something to watch over the years, and even modest fans have found it hard not to notice. For quite a few football fans the German side has become someone for everyone to keep an eye on. They have exciting players, they play fun attacking football and their home games are a sight to behold.
The Armenian might be the perfect embodiment of this style. His versatility is impressive, with the ability to play any position in midfield. His biggest weakness in those is defensive midfield, but United’s options there means he wouldn’t ever be required to be deployed in such a deep role.
More ideally his best performances have been wide, particularly on the right side. Best part about that? That’s a dire need in Manchester, where the right side of midfield has been a problem area of production the last few years. Luckily, Dortmund’s flexible attacker brings that in bunches:
This is why those who know the player are so exciting and are tantalised at the prospect of him joining the club. A player of Mkhitaryan’s quality at the reported price in today’s transfer market? That is a steal.
The benefit of him being able to play wide is that he won’t cut into the space behind Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford up front. Additionally, if Zlatan Ibrahimovic joins his space won’t be occupied either, as he has tended to drop deeper as he has gotten older. Then of course there is the Wayne Rooney factor, who will no doubt be somewhere within midfield or attack.
Looking at Mkhitaryan’s raw production alone, it’s easy to see what makes him such an attractive prospect, particularly to new boss Jose Mourinho who seriously needs to add to the attacking stocks of Manchester United, per WhoScored.com:
- 50 Appearances, 21 Goals, 20 Assists, 13 Man of the Match Awards, 7.87 Rating
- 2.8 Shots Per Game, 2.6 Key Passes Per Game
- 1.9 Tackles Per Game, 1.5 Interceptions Per Game
The Armenian is an elegant, modern attacker with an equally good eye for a pass or goal. He’s a brilliant combination of speed and technique, and will fit seamlessly into Mourinho’s plans and into the hearts of the Old Trafford faithful.
Fans may know know him well, that may not know him at all but they will soon. It might be time to start learning his name, as fans will likely want Mkhitaryan on the back of their Manchester United shirts very soon.
Adam Joseph is a freelance writer from Australia. Manchester United fan from back when they were the only team on Australian TV and it was love at first sight. Manchester United, Oklahoma City Thunder, New England Patriots and Carlton Blues fanatic. If it’s sport related, I’ll talk about it.
Follow him on twitter @AdamJosephSport