Arsenal have signed Armenian Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Manchester United in a swap deal with Alexis Sanchez going the other way.

Arsenal has confirmed the signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Manchester United and have handed the Armenian captain a long-term deal at the Emirates. Mkhitaryan moves to Arsenal in a rare swap deal with Manchester United signing Alexis Sanchez.

Arsenal was said to be holding a long-term interest in Mkhitaryan since his playing days at Borussia Dortmund, where he was one of their top performers under current Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and his successor Tomas Tuchel.

Manchester United seemingly beat Arsenal to his signature in the summer of 2016, paying £26 million to Dortmund for his services. Jose Mourinho got one over his arch-rival Arsene Wenger back then and has followed suit with the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal after pipping his long-term rival, Pep Guardiola of Manchester City.

Mkhitaryan’s signing will be a statement of intent from Arsenal, as many quarters of fans were worried about how the club would go about replacing the talismanic Chilean, who has been their formidable goalscorer as well as a great creator. The Armenian, alongside Mesut Ozil and the impending arrival of former Dortmund teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would help restore the goals at the Emirates.

Relishing at the chance to play for Arsenal, he told the club’s official website, “I’m very happy that we could finish this deal and I’m very happy to be here. It’s a dream come true because I’ve always dreamed of playing for Arsenal. Now that I’m here, I’ll do my best for this club to create history.”

Arsene Wenger, also speaking to the club’s site, had words of praise for his new signing; “Henrikh is a very complete player. He creates chances, he defends well, he can absorb distances, and he’s very committed as well. I must say he’s a player who has all the attributes.”

Wenger continued, “We’re replacing a very good player with a very good player, a world-class player with a world-class player.

“Mkhitaryan can play on the wing or in midfield, so I believe he can play very well in many positions.

“That can help us as well because he can play together with Ozil as well as a playmaker, so overall it’s a good move.”

Mkhitaryan, for all his success at Dortmund, endured a somewhat mixed time in Manchester United colours. After a bright patch last season, scoring the famous ‘Scorpion Goal’ against Sunderland as well being one of the key players in United’s Europa League triumph, started the current season very brightly.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Burnley at Old Trafford on December 26, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
After a bright start to the season, Henrikh Mkhitaryan quickly fell out of favour with Jose Mourinho. (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty Images)

After notching five assists at the beginning of the season, his form faded away, and Jose Mourinho first relegated him to the bench and afterwards altogether from the first team squad. Mourinho, even during last season had shown less faith in the Armenian, and many a time has questioned his attributes and gameplay.

Mourinho, assuming he would be ecstatic with Sanchez’s signing, did take time out to bid farewell to Mkhitaryan, “I would like to wish Henrikh all the success and happiness that I am sure he is going to get.” “He is a player that we will not forget, especially for his contribution to our Europa League victory.”

Mkhitaryan would be glad to leave the difficult period at Manchester United behind and begin a new chapter at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger. How good would he be for his new club is a matter of the future, but Arsenal, definitely couldn’t have found a better player to replace their former star man, Alexis Sanchez.

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