Much has been made about Pierre Emrick Aubameyang’s swashbuckling start to the new campaign. Hype has been raised to a fever pitch whenever Marco Reus returns from injury.
Borussia Dortmund’s true hero however is a man so remarkably changed by management, that you would think some divine intervention has played a part. That man, in all his shining Aremenian glory is Thomas Tuchel’s most undervalued diamond- Henrikh Mkhitarian.
The fervour surrounding Thomas Tuchel’s appointment was quite justified. Coming in from a successful spell at Mainz, where cult-hero Jurgen Klopp came from, the Westfalenstadion faithful were expecting nothing less than perfection.
Unlike Klopp however, the expectations for Tuchel were astronomical. Entering the season from a disappointing sixth-place finish, and the impending exit of Jurgen Klopp, the club needed a paradigm shift in order to get back into high gear. Known for his tactical nous, and often measured approach, Tuchel was likely to employ an opposing set of tactics, in relation to those of his predecessor. Critical to the success of these tactics, has been Henrikh Mkhitarian.
Few would have expected much from the Armenian this year. His abysmal tally of five goals and five assists over the course of the last campaign had many wondering exactly how he could’ve fallen so far from grace. Brought in as the replacement to Dortmund’s very own Mario Goetze, Mkhitariyan crumbled under the weight of expectation. From being famed for scoring goals, he was made infamous for missing them, leading to unfortunate nickname ‘Missitarian’, that compounded his evidently grim form.
This season on however the attacker has picked up the wreckage of his previous season, galvanizing himself into a bronze statue and an irreplaceable centre-piece in Dortmund’s attack. He has managed to get . 15 goals and 11 assists for club and country, in only 15 appearances thus far. Stepping out of his former shadow, the Armenian has gone from compensating for injuries to centralizing nearly every Dortmund attack.