I never like the sound of it when an Arsenal manager/coach starts talking favourably about a loan player who desperately needs to be move on. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was the result of a horrible experiment between Arsenal, Manchester United and Alexis Sanchez that promised both sides untold riches, but which left them red-faced and short-changed.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan had been on Arsene Wenger’s shopping list three or more seasons before his disastrous move to Manchester United. The chance to acquire him, with an unruly Sanchez going in the opposite direction proved too hard to resist and at the time, it was difficult to argue against the swap.
However, it didn’t work out for either club or player and is still regarded as one of the poorest deals in Premier League history. Wenger went and Unai Emery came in, but Mkhitaryan still looked like a man out of his depth and eventually it was decided to send the Armenian out on loan to Serie A outfit AS Roma.
AS Roma were also offered the option to buy because by now it was clear that the midfielder just didn’t fit into a muddled and ever-changing lineup, especially in a Premier League team. However, the Armenian’s season-long loan spell has been interrupted by injury.
Emery was unsurprisingly sacked after a truly dire run of results and Arteta arrived at the Emirates 18 months later than advertised. The evidence at present is that Arsenal are in desperate need of new faces but it appears that the Spanish coach is leaving his options open regarding Henrikh Mkhitaryan. On the subject of the player’s possible return from AS Roma, the Gunners head coach said:
“It’s a possibility that we have and will consider.”
“I always liked him, he is the kind of player who can fit in any team when he is at his best.”
“He needs to do it consistently and here he had moments and that’s what we need to assess.”
“Miki is doing really well in recent games. We know the player he’s been, we know his past, and we need to have all the information to make the right decision.”
This says to me that Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a backup plan should Arteta and Arsenal find themselves short of cash and players in the summer and I for one am not convinced that he will fare any better third time around in the Premier League.
Arteta has to watch his P’s and Q’s whereas, I don’t and this just appears to me like another smoke and mirrors tactic to save money or another grim attempt to manufacture more excuses to cover up a number of poor top management decisions.
Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Chambers, Elneny, Xhaka, Mustafi and Sokratis, all need to go to give Arsenal a fresh start. No excuses!