It was in 2009 that Henrikh Mkhitaryan stated in an interview with Uefa: “My favourite team is Arsenal… Arsène Wenger puts faith in young players while demanding results at the same time. I like that and want to play there one day.”
Nine years later, the Armenian has arrived in north London – and he can’t wait to realise that wish of playing under the boss.
“Of course it’s very important to have respect from your manager,” he told Arsenal Player. “I know that he’s demanding and he likes his players to explore.
“He was one of the [reasons] to join Arsenal as well because everyone knows he’s a great manager.
“I’ve known him for a long time and of course it was not very difficult to make this decision to come to Arsenal, because I think the way that Arsenal play [make] it a dream for every player to come here and play offensive football.”
The former Manchester United forward also spoke of his admiration for some players at Arsenal. He singled out Metsu Ozil as one player he is looking forward to play alongside.
“Here at Arsenal I know that lots of players move a lot and it’s incredible the way [the team] plays. I will do my best to assist them as well,” he told Arsenal Player.
“I think it will be really fun to play alongside Ozil. Everyone knows he’s a fantastic player, he’s an assist king! I look forward to it.
“[I admire] his intelligence, the way that he can understand the game, reads the game, plus the way he gives pace to the game and of course his final decision.”