Wayne Rooney: Why Henrikh Mkhitaryan failed at Man United
The Man United legend explains why Arsenal signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan didn't work out at Old Trafford
Wayne Rooney believes Henrikh Mkhitaryan failed at Manchester United because the playmaker wasn’t given creative freedom.
The Armenia international moved to Arsenal in a swap deal that saw Alexis Sanchez complete a switch to Manchester United in the January transfer window.
The 28-year-old struggled to leave his mark on the Red Devils side during an 18-month spell at Old Trafford following a £30m move to Manchester United from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in 2016.
Mkhitaryan won the Europa League and the League Cup last season and ended the campaign with 13 goals in 63 games in all competitions under Jose Mourinho.
The Armenian midfielder hasn’t taken long to leave his mark at Arsenal after the January signing made three assists on his first start in the north London side’s 5-1 win against Everton at The Emirates.
Rooney played alongside Mkhitaryan for one season at Old Trafford before the ex-England and Manchester United captain moved to Everton last summer.
Speaking on Monday Night Football on Sky Sports about Mkhitaryan’s January move to Arsenal, Rooney said:
“I think he is (in a place where he can thrive).
“I’ve seen it last season in training a lot, he’s a very talented player.
“I think at Manchester United he didn’t get the freedom he really wanted to go and perform which he had at (Borussia) Dortmund.
“It was a different style of play to what Dortmund played.”
Manchester United are in second place in the Premier League table and 11 points ahead of Arsenal, who are in sixth spot with 12 games to go.
The Gunners signed Mkhitaryan’s former team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a club record £56m deal from Borussia Dortmund.