Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has spoken about his adjustment to life at the London club, six months on from his move from Manchester United. The Armenian forward, purchased from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2016, headed to the Emirates this past January after falling out of favour with Jose Mourinho, with Alexis Sanchez heading in the opposite direction. Now, with his first full season at Arsenal on the horizon, Mkhitaryan has opened up about his move and the differences he has found between the two clubs.
“Everything about Arsenal is totally different to United,” said Mkhitaryan in quotes carried by the Evening Standard. “As soon as I came to Arsenal I felt the warmth. It’s like a family where everyone’s taking care of you. The philosophy, the playing style, the club – nothing is comparable. It’s like a new page in the book of my life. Arsenal always played offensive football but under Jose the team at United was playing differently.”
“I’m not criticising him or blaming him. It was just a different philosophy. But I am enjoying myself more at Arsenal. United was difficult but you have to be ready for everything so I kept going. Now I’m looking forward to a new chapter.”
It’s a typically respectful and careful observation from Mkhitaryan, in all honesty. The player never struck as the sort of person who would openly criticise Mourinho, even if he clearly disagreed with his enforced exit from Old Trafford. Fans were certainly sad that the Armenian couldn’t recapture the form that made him such a danger in the second half of the 2016/17 season, where Mkhitaryan was a vital part of the side that won the Europa League, but his clear enjoyment of life at Arsenal suggests that perhaps the transfer was for the best, for all partes.