United have announce that they have signed 27 year old Armenian International Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund. The news came just a day after Jose Mourinho hinted strongly that a third summer signing was imminent.
The son of a professional footballer; his father Hamlet played for Valance in France; the player made reference to his father in his statement on joining the club and he is clearly an inspiration to Mkhitaryan who lost his father to a Brain tumour aged just seven. Henrikh progressed through youth football in his native Armenia to earn a professional contract with FC Pyunick for whom he made his senior debut in the Armenian national league at the age of 17.
FC Pyunick won the national league for four consecutive years with Mkhitaryan as the mainstay of their side before he was transferred to Ukrainian side Metalurh Donestk in 2009. He did enough in one season there to earn a move to Shakhter Donestk.
At Shakhter between 2010 and 2013 he helped win the Ukrainian League and Cup double for three years before moving on to Borussia Dortmund for 23.6 million pounds; a record sum for the German club. At Dortmund he has won the German Cup.
An Arminian international Henrikh currently has 59 caps and has scored a record 19 goals for his country.
Mikhitaryan is an attacking midfield player who is at his best playing just behind the forward line as a number 10. He has played wide on the right on occasions however so this is an option. He is quick in thought and deed and is renowned as a player who links play to great effect in the tight spaces in the final third. Good close control allied with vision and good passing ability and as a consequence is a player who both creates chances for others and with a powerful shot scores goals himself. United’s inability to play through the middle of teams in the final third has been a real weakness and perhaps one of the key reasons that they have regularly found it so hard to break down a low block in recent seasons. If the player can address this weakness adding composure and creativity in this area he could be a real asset.
So Henrikh Mkhitaryan, welcome to Old Trafford.