As deals go, this one stank and the smell still lingers. I’m of course referring to the basket of bad eggs that were purchased respectively by Arsenal and Manchester United in the form of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alexis Sanchez.
I recall Arsenal fans contemplating throwing themselves off tower blocks when news of the Chileans departure to Manchester was announced and also the muted response to the swap of Henrikh Mkhitaryan to North London.
Roma have reached an agreement with Arsenal to sign Henrikh Mkhitaryan on a season-long loan deal.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) September 2, 2019
Two seasons on and it appears that neither club covered themselves in glory. Sanchez seemed unable to hit an Elephant with a cannon ball and his performances were at times so poor that Arsenal fans thought Wenger had pulled off a master stroke by bringing a one time target to the Emirates.
However, the Armenian struggled but still looked the better of the two and showed flashes of genuine promise, but that was some time ago. He had since lost confidence and form and his coach has now decided to look to the future, which meant that Henrikh Mkhitaryan had to find another club.
Well it appears the player has secured a move to Serie A giants Roma on a season long loan but, without the all important option to buy. The loan will be a relief to both the player and the club and opens the door for the academy youngsters to make their mark.
By the time Henrikh Mkhitaryan arrived at the Emirates in 2018, he was probably past his best and Arsenal were in the midsts of a meltdown.
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Jose Mourinho is normally a good judge of a jaded player, having already dispatched Petr Cech and Wayne Rooney to pastures new at Chelsea and United. You sensed the special one was looking for new additions and that Mkhitaryan could see the end of his Red Devil’s career looming large because he wasn’t deemed essential.
In his brief time at Arsenal, the Armenian made 59 appearances for the Gunners, scoring nine goals. He was given chances to shine, but could never quite take them in an Arsenal shirt.
There’s a degree of irony in the fact that Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alexis Sanchez will face one another in Serie A when Roma face Inter Milan in the battle of the rejects.