Henrik Mkhitaryan came to Arsenal with question marks. The former Borussia Dortmund star had been considered a bust at Manchester United, with Jose Mourinho’s side never getting the best out of the Armenian.
In his first start for the Gunners, it appears that these worries were unfounded. The midfielder had three assists in Arsenal’s comfortable 5-1 victory over Everton at the Emirates.
In fact, Mkhitaryan is the first Arsenal player to tally three or more assists in a league game since Santi Cazorla had four in May 2013 versus Wigan. He is also the only Premier League Player this season to record a hat trick of assists.
To show the magnitude of this statistic consider this: Mkhitaryan’s three assists in this one match equals the total number of assists provided by Alexis Sanchez all season. Yes they are different players, but that is a telling bit of information.
Mkhitaryan’s three assists give him eight total for the campaign. He is fourth in the league and sits just three behind the league assists leader Kevin De Bruyne. If you look a little deeper, you’ll find that De Bruyne’s 11 assists have been achieved in 2227 minutes of playing time so far. Mkhitaryan has eight in just 1051 minutes on the pitch. Definitely not a bad return for a player so easily tossed aside by Mourinho.
Of course small sample size caveats apply here, it being, y’know, one game, but the early signs are very good. If he is given the chance to play regularly in Arsene Wenger’s side, there may be a lot more games like this to come from Mkhitaryan. Combined with Mesut Özil in midfield, the two can thrive.