What can Henrikh Mkhitaryan bring to Arsenal?

What can Henrikh Mkhitaryan bring to Arsenal?

The Armenian international joined the Gunners in a swap deal with Alexis Sanchez heading the opposite way.

TJ Wedderburn

The Premier League's worst kept secret finally came to light earlier this week. 

Alexis Sanchez left Arsenal for Manchester United, with Henrik Mkhitaryan moving the opposite in the direction. 

It's undoubtedly a big blow for the north Londoners, who lose their talisman yet again to rivals United - after Dutchman Robin van Persie headed for Old Trafford back in 2012. 

But on this occasion there is a consolation for The Gunners, that consolation arrives in the form of 29-year-old Mkhitaryan. Here's a look at what the he can bring to his new side;

Creativty in abundance

In Mkhitaryan's final season for Dortmund, he finished Bundesliga's top creator with 15 assists. This lead to him being voted Players' Player of the Season. 

For one reason or another, he has been unable hit those heights since moving to England, but perhaps joining Arsenal can be the spark needed to re-ignite his career.

Mkhitaryan can operate in a number ten role or on the flanks, he has an eye for a pass, good close control and is capable on either foot. His playing style could be likened to that of a 'typical' Arsenal player, meaning he specialises in creating opportunities for his teammates.

With Santi Cazorla nursing a long term injury, the responsibility to create often falls on the shoulders of German playmaker Mesut Ozil. Admittedly, this burden has been lessened with the return to fitness of Jack Wilshere, but Ozil's absence within the team is still felt when he is unavailable. 

The signing of Mkhitaryan represents a potential solution to this particular problem. A considerably more team orientated player than Sanchez, Mkhitaryan can fill the void of Ozil and indeed play with him- giving Arsenal another creative option going forward.

If he can replicate the form he showed for his previous clubs prior to joining Manchester United, Arsenal will have a quality ally or replacement for Ozil, who is out of contract in the summer.

Experience and adaptability

At 29 years of age, Mkhitaryan has playing experience in different top flight leagues. Before leaving the German Bundesliga to play in the Premier League, he turned out for Ukrainian Premier League outfit Shakhtar Donetsk. 

Having consistently played at a high level, Mkhitaryan is no stranger to European football, with over 50 Champions League appearances. He also has previous in the Europa League - the competition which his new side currently play in. 

Last season Mkhitaryan helped lead Manchester United to Europa League glory, with the second goal in the final against Ajax in a 2-0 win.

The Armenian's know-how could prove a key asset for Arsenal- who are chasing their first European title since a cup winners' cup success in 1994. Could Mkhitaryan's arrival signal a change in fortunes for The Gunners on the continent?