Arsenal are set to move Henrikh Mkhitaryan off the books, with the Armenian international poised to complete a loan move to AS Roma with an option to buy.
According to Italian transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio, Henrikh Mkhitaryan may just have played his last North London Derby and game for Arsenal, in general. The Armenian is reportedly poised for a loan move to AS Roma before the transfer window ends, with the Italian giants also reserving a right to make the move permanent.
AS Roma do play a 4-2-3-1, which warrants a number 10. But, the Italian giants already possess, in the form of Nicolo Zaniolo and Javier Pastore, two capable options for the said position. Mkhitaryan though, could be brought in to play on either side of the number 10 role, with AS Roma not having much depth in the wide areas.
The left wing has Justin Kluivert and Diego Perrotti as options. But, Cengiz Under seems like the only plausible option for the right side of attack for Paulo Fonseca. While Mkhitaryan is a number 10, he has played in wide positions for both Manchester United and Arsenal and could come in handy for the Italian side.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan arrived in the Premier League after Manchester United decided to bring the Armenian in from Borussia Dortmund. But, after an inconsistent spell at Old Trafford, the Red Devils engineered a swap deal that facilitated the movement of Alexis Sanchez and Mkhitaryan in opposite directions.
At Arsenal, Mkhitaryan has been a tad bit underwhelming. In 59 appearances for the club over more than 1.5 years, the Armenian has a record of 9 goals and 13 assists. This season, Mkhitaryan has been handed a bench role by Unai Emery, especially after the addition of stars like Dani Ceballos and Nicolas Pepe to their arsenal.
The Armenian has featured in 3 of Arsenal’s 4 games so far, including the North London Derby that ended in a 2-2 draw. But, Mkhitaryan has only clocked 111 minutes of football in the 3 games, highlighting his role in the squad. In such circumstances, a move away is the best possible thing for the former Dortmund star.
Should the Mkhitaryan deal go through, this would be the third loan deal agreed by AS Roma themselves with a Premier League side, having already brought in Chris Smalling and Davide Zappacosta on similar deals from Manchester United and Chelsea, respectively.
It will be interesting to see how Mkhitaryan is able to adjust to a new league, if the deal does go through, and whether he can recapture his Dortmund form.