By Kiran Thakare
- United are in advanced talks to sign Henrikh Mkhitaryan
- What will the Armenian captain bring to United
Manchester United are close to adding two attacking talents to the squad in the form of Zlatan Ibrahimović and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The Swedish forward is going to join as a free agent after his contract with Paris Saint Germain expires on 1st July.
On the other hand the negotiations are in advance stages with Borussia Dortmund to sign Mkhitaryan after his agent confirmed that United were interested.
Ibrahimovic is going to bring the swagger and the experience to the squad, but what exactly Mkhitaryan will bring to this United squad. The Red Devils are packed in midfield but still Mkhitaryan can be the final piece of United’s attack.
Scorer and creator of goals
The Armenian international enjoyed a great season for Dortmund last year. He racked up 32 assists and scored 23 goals in all competitions.
He was one of Dortmund’s key performers as they reached the semi-finals of the Europa League and also gave Bayern Munich stern competition for the Bundesliga title.
Mkhitaryan refused to sign a new contract at the end of the season allowing Dortmund to cash in before he becomes a free agent next year.
Mkhitaryan is basically an attacking midfielder who can play any of the three positions behind the striker.
Mourinho is likely to continue with Wayne Rooney as attacking midfielder, so Mkhitaryan could be utilised right flank where he played most of the time last year.
The Armenian captain can also occasionally play in the hole or even as a second striker in 4-4-2 formation.
United had a great amount of pace on the left flank last term as Anthony Martial made that position his own. They struggled on the right flank as Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata gave mixed performances in that position.
Mkhitaryan can inject the pace on the right flank and provide the much needed creativity for United who scored very few goals last year.
Mourinho generally prefers to punish opponents on counter. Mkhitaryan can be the ideal man who can initiate this counterattacks for Mourinho.
The Armenian has a good eye for playing the killer pass in the final third as he created 134 chances last year for Dortmund.
Moreover Mkhitaryan also performs his defensive duties effectively as he tends to make clever interceptions and can help the right back while defending.
The brisk movement of the likes of Martial and Marcus Rashford in the final third can help Mkhitaryan to link up well and form a formidable attacking trio.
Intelligence to breakdown defences
United failed to break teams who used to sit back, but Mkhitaryan can give them edge in such situation as the Armenian can unlock such defences with his clever passes and even score against them with his clever movement off the ball.
The only negative aspect of Mkhitaryan is that he can often be annonymous in big games.
He often sulks in pressure situations. Mourinho with his proper man management will have to change the midfielder’s mentality and help him prepare for big games .
The signing of Mkhitaryan can also have a positive effect on the likes of Memphis Depay,Adnan Januzaj and Andreas Pereira.
The three attacking talents endured a very poor last season with United.
The arrival of Mkhitaryan can ease the pressure on these three players and allow them to develop.
Moreover they can thrive under competition for place in the team. After a great season with Dortmund last year, Mkhitaryan can surely get the United fans excited for the upcoming season.