Manchester United have finally announced the signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan after German giants Borussia Dortmund confirmed that they had accepted a bid for the attacking midfielder.
With United lacking pace and width since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson, the Armenia captain’s acquisition is one of the club’s most important in recent times and a statement of intent from new boss Jose Mourinho.
The “Special One” is looking to turn the 13-time Premier League champions into title contenders once again, and the signing of Mkhitaryan will certainly help to do that. So, where will he fit into the team alongside United’s other attacking talents next season?
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Where can Mkhitaryan play?
Mkhitaryan is naturally a playmaker who loves to play as a number ten. He made a name for himself in that position at Shakhtar Donetsk, where he used his vision, imagination, energy and technical ability to devastating effect.
That said, after being moved into a wider role by Thomas Tuchel last season, the 27-year-old excelled with his pace, movement and creativity.
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Playing on the right of a front three which included Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan enjoyed an outstanding season, scoring 18 goals and providing 20 assists in all competitions.
Where should he play at United?
The current United squad lacks top-quality players who can operate in wide positions, and for that reason, the dynamic Mkhitaryan will slot very nicely onto the right-hand side of United’s midfield should he join United.
Juan Mata has played out wide for the vast majority of his Man United career, but he lacks speed, power, and it’s well known that Mourinho isn’t his biggest fan, having offloaded the Spaniard to the Red Devils in 2014 whilst in charge of Chelsea.
Jesse Lingard was Louis van Gaal’s preferred option towards the end of last season, and United fans will still remember his stunning winner in the FA Cup Final. However, Mkhitaryan is simply a class above the 23-year-old Englishman and a much more menacing attacking player.
United look lethal in attack
If Mourinho were to deploy the skilful dribbler on the right-wing, it would give the likes of Ander Herrera and captain Wayne Rooney the chance to play in their most effective position just off the main striker – who looks set to be the mercurial Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The Swedish centre-forward could even drop slightly deeper on occasions to allow youngster Marcus Rashford to lead the line, with last year’s top scorer Anthony Martial coming off the left-wing.
Mkhitaryan himself has pushed for the move over the course of the current transfer window, with the player reportedly texting Tuchel last week to say he was joining the FA Cup winners.
There’s no doubt that United fans will be purring at the prospect of Mkhitaryan forming a potentially breathtaking attacking trio alongside Ibrahimovic and Martial.
Where do YOU think Mkhitaryan will be most effective for Manchester United? Leave YOUR opinion in the comments box below!