Henrikh Mkhitaryan says that he found life in the Premier League not to his liking, and that the last month of his time at Arsenal didn’t give him any pleasure, so a move to Roma was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.
After becoming a star with Borussia Dortmund, the Armenian international had spells at Man Utd and Arsenal, and never found the kind of level he had in Germany.
There were flashes of talent, but mostly lightweight, inconsistent performances. The Gunners were glad to take his £200,000 a week off the wage bill, but Mkhi says it wasn’t an easy decision for Unai Emery, Raul Sanllehi and football executive committee at the club.
“I think maybe I was not fitting so well in English football, so I think a change was good,” he said at a press conference this afternoon.
“I’ve heard from many, many players that the Italian League is great, the football is great.
“The last month at Arsenal I was not getting pleasure, so that’s why I said it was better to come to Roma and to get happy and to get the pleasure from playing football again.”
As for why the Gunners helped facilitate a season long loan, he continued, “It is a hard question. It’s difficult for me to say – I am not in the Arsenal board, I cannot say. I think it was because it was my wish.
“I knew I was not going to play a lot – maybe I would sit on the bench, like I did the last three games before the international break.
“I knew here I would have more opportunity to play, because there is the League, the cup, the Europa League.
“The decision was not easy for Arsenal to let me go, but thanks to Roma’s sporting director and board they were able to do it and hopefully I can show why they wanted to do that.”
It’s fair to say it’s a move which suits all parties, and hopefully he can perform well there this season and sort out a permanent switch.