Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 17 things Manchester United fans should know

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Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan with Borussia Dortmund all but confirming that the Armenian is set to move to Old Trafford this summer.

The 27-year-old has enjoyed a memorable season in the Bundesliga and could be Jose Mourinho’s most significant signing yet – so what do Manchester United fans need to know?

Here are a few things to start them off.


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1. He’s got career options outside of football

Mkhitaryan is no slouch – he’s got a diploma from the Institute of Physical Culture in Armenia and studied economics at the St Petersburg Institute. He also considered training to become a lawyer.

2. He’s familiar with one Chelsea foe

When he was just 14, Mkhitaryan went on trial at Sao Paulo in Brazil where he played alongside future Serie A star Hernanes and a gangly midfield dynamo by the name of Oscar.

3. He’s also been compared to a Chelsea legend

Pat Nevin had the following to say about Mkhitaryan: “He has pace, skill, a rocket of a shot and the ability to arrive in the box like Frank Lampard. “

4. He’s achieving a Premier League first

Mkhitaryan will become the first Armenian to have played in the Premier Leage since its inception.

5. He’s got no loyalties in football

Having moved from Pyunik to Metalurh Donetsk, the 27-year-old had no qualms about joining their bitter cross-town rivals Shakhtar Donetsk , eventually helping his new team defeat his old one in the Ukrainian Cup.

Manchester United may want to keep an eye on their noisy neighbours.

6. He’s already done a Ronny Rosenthal

Mkhitaryan may have racked up 23 goals for Dortmund in all competitions last term but he was also guilty of not one but two of the most epic misses in Bundesliga history against Eintracht Frankfurt.

7. He’s already an Armenia National Team Legend

Mkhitaryan’s record of 19 goals in 59 games for Armenia makes him the national team’s all-time top scorer with that tally including a hat-trick scored in a friendly against Guatemala – the first hat-trick scored by an Armenian on the international stage.

8. He’s already got Premier League pedigree

Any United fans worried about whether Mkhitaryan can rediscover his scoring touch in the Premier League should note: he’s already scored against Arsenal in the Champions League.

9. He’s the Bundesliga’s Mesut Ozil

Ozil may be the Premier League’s assist king but Mkhitaryan could give him a run for his money.

The 27-year-old racked up 15 in the Bundesliga last term, which was four more than anyone else in the German top-flight.

10. He’s got a mean streak

The Armenian is not afraid of mixing it up with opposition defenders, with a quick YouTube search for ‘Mkhitaryan fight’ throwing up plenty of interesting clips.

This confrontation with Bayern Munich's Rafinha, in particular, stands out.

11. He’s also got a football idol

The Armenian ranks Zinedine Zidane as his favourite footballer of all time, telling AS in quotes translated by Football Espana:

“It’s totally true he was my idol as a child. I loved how he played and he was a great inspiration to me."

12. He’s even got his own song

Back during his Shakhtar days, the club had a tradition of playing music each time a home player scored at the Donbass Arena.

Mkhitaryan’s song was “Sabre Dance” by Aram Khachaturian with the Armenia’s impressive goal record resulting in the track becoming something of a theme tune for the player.

13. He’s got no problem with language barriers

Much like Jose Mourinho, Mkhitaryan has few problems when it comes to breaking down language barriers. The 27-year-old is fluent in English,Germany, French, Russian, Armenian, Portuguese and even some Italian. 

14. He’s considered other sports

The Armenian has claimed, on several occasions, that if his career in football had not worked out, he would have taken up sprinting.

15. He’s earned rave reviews

In 2013, Mkhitaryan collected the accolade of the Sport-Express Footballer of the Year in Baltic and Commonwealth of Independent States, becoming the first Armenian to do so and joining the likes of Andrei Arshavin, Andrei Voronin and Andriy Shevchenko in winning the accolade.

16. He’s made a habit of memorable debuts

Having scored for Metalurh Donetsk on his debut, Mkhitaryan then marked his home debut for Shakthtar with a goal in a 4-1 win and even scored on his first appearance for Borussia Dortmund in a pre-season victory over Basel.

17. He’s got two memorable nicknames

Armenian fans have taken to calling Mkhitaryan ‘Heno’ while Dortmund supporters often referred to him as ‘Micki’. Manchester United fans may opt for the latter.

Is Mkhitaryan a good signing for Manchester United? Have your say in the comment box below.

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