Arsene Wenger: I always liked new Arsenal signing, he’s a special character

The Arsenal manager ousts himself as a long-term admirer of Armenia international Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Photo: The Sport Review

Arsene Wenger has talked up his appreciation for Arsenal signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The Armenia international completed a move to the Gunners in a swap deal from Manchester United after Alexis Sanchez secured a switch to Old Trafford.

Mkhitaryan struggled to have a lasting impact at Manchester United during his 18 months at the 20-time English champions following a £30m move from Borussia Dortmund in 2016.

The playmaker made a positive imrpession on his first Arsenal start after the Armenian made three assists in a 5-1 win against Everton at The Emirates on Saturday evening.

Mkhitaryan will be tasked with helping Arsenal to secure a top-four finish despite trailing Liverpool FC by six points with 12 games to go.

Speaking to Arsenal’s website after their landslide win over Everton, Wenger revealed that he has been a long-term admirer of Mkhitaryan.

“I met Mkhitaryan before, before he came here, because I liked always his game, but he’s a player completely focused on football, dedicated totally to the game,” Wenger told Arsenal’s website.

“He comes from a country – Armenia – where you need a special character to become a great football player, you have to really to love it, and that’s why he looks happy to play football because he just loves it.”

Mkhitaryan moved to the Premier League from the Bundesliga in 2016 after he was voted the German top flight’s players’ player of the season following 11 goals and 16 assist for Dortmund.

The Armenian midfielder has been handed the number seven shirt at the north London side.

Mkhitaryan won the Europa League and the League Cup in his only full season at Manchester United.

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