It’s official — Henrikh Mkhitaryan is no longer a Gunner. Arsenal announced today that club and player had terminated his contract by mutual consent so that he could join Roma, where he spent last season on loan. It’s a whimpering end to the ignominy that was the Alexis Sanchez transfer saga at Arsenal — both guys didn’t do much for their new Premier League clubs and are now both in Serie A.
Cards on the table, I liked Mkhitaryan as a player. At the Emirates, he showed flashes of what made him a sought-after transfer when he moved from Dortmund to Manchester United, but he couldn’t really get it going in the Premier League. He probably would have been a useful piece for the club last season, when Arsenal were lacking in midfield playmaking, but whatever.
While it would have been nice to get a nominal fee for him, that wasn’t really an option. His massive weekly wage combined with his age created a market of one, Roma, for his services. Terminating his contract makes everyone happy. He gets to play in Rome, where he wanted to be. Arsenal get his wages off the books. And we move on.
Mkhitaryan amassed 9 goals and 13 assists in 59 appearances for Arsenal. He helped the club reach the 2019 Europa League final but was unable to play in the match because of the ethno-political conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. His biggest Arsenal accomplishment may be whatever persuasive role he played in getting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the club, although the hat trick of assists he recorded on his club debut was pretty impressive, too.
He posted a nice thank you message to the club and the fans, specifically thanking Arsene Wenger because of course he did — Arsene is the best.
I‘m delighted to announce that I’ve permanently joined the #giallorossi ❤️ I‘d like to thank @arsenal , its personnel & the millions of #gunners all whom supported me over the past 1,5Y. A special thanks to A. Wenger for having brought me to the club and for his trust in me pic.twitter.com/KD8QJuhAbT— Henrikh Mkhitaryan (@HenrikhMkh) August 31, 2020
Best of luck at Roma, Mkhi. Except if Roma and Arsenal get paired up in the Europa League, that is. But at all other times, sure.