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What Mkhitaryan said about Arsenal in 2009

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has signed for Arsenal from Manchester United in a swap deal with Alexis Sánchez, joining the club he cited as his "favourite team" at the start of his career.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has agreed a move to Arsenal
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has agreed a move to Arsenal ©AFP/Getty Images

Arsenal will be hoping for big things from Henrikh Mkhitaryan after the Manchester United midfielder signed a long-term contract with the club he once cited as his "favourite team" in a swap deal with Alexis Sánchez.

The Armenian international joins the Gunners with a record of 13 goals from 63 games in all competitions for United, including the second in the 2017 UEFA Europa League final as the Red Devils defeated Ajax 2-0 in Stockholm – one of three trophies he lifted at Old Trafford along with the 2016/17 English League Cup and 2016 FA Community Shield.

Watch five great Henrikh Mkhitaryan goals
Watch five great Henrikh Mkhitaryan goals

The 29-year-old moved to United from Dortmund in 2016, but it was another English club who dominated his ambitions as a youngster. "My favourite team is Arsenal," he explained, while still playing for home-town side Pyunik in 2009. "I like their attacking play and fast style. Moreover, Arsène Wenger puts faith in young players while demanding results at the same time. I like that and want to play there one day."

Mkhitaryan can now help the Gunners lift their first European trophy under Wenger, with the north London outfit set to face Swedish team Östersund in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 on 15 and 22 February.

Can Henrikh Mkhitaryan play for Arsenal in this season's UEFA Europa League?

Since he has not played in the competition this season with Manchester United, and they did not transfer from the UEFA Champions League, Mkhitaryan could be registered for the knockout rounds. Here are the relevant extracts from the competition regulations.

  • 42.01: For all matches from the start of the round of 32, a club may register a maximum of three new eligible players for the remaining matches in the current competition. Such registration must be completed by 1 February 2018 (24.00CET) at the latest. This deadline cannot be extended.
  • 42.02: One player from the above quota of three who has been fielded in a UEFA club competition group stage match for another club in the current season may exceptionally be registered, provided that the player has not been fielded:
    a. in the same competition for another club; or
    b. for another club that is currently in the same competition