Manchester United have completed the signing of Borussia Dortmund forward Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The Armenian has completed a move to Old Trafford having had just one year remaining on his contract at the Westfalenstadion. His agent, Mino Raiola, forced a move to Man United where Mkhitaryan will join another of Raiola’s clients, Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Ibrahimovic confirmed, via social media on Thursday evening, that he and new United boss Jose Mourinho will work together to return Manchester United to the very top of the. The pair first joined at Inter Milan, winning the Serie A title together in 2009.
Mkhitaryan signs alongside Ibrahimovic
Mkhitaryan becomes Mourinho’s third signing of the transfer window already, as the Portuguese has heavily invested to add star quality to United’s side. While his predecessor, Louis van Gaal, made some sensible signings like Morgan Schneiderlin, Mourinho is adding the necessary world-class quality and Mkhitaryan is certainly that.
The 27-year-old is believed to have cost United around €42.5million and the transfer was not announced until now to allow Dortmund to count the transfer income in the new fiscal year, which began on July 1st, also the official opening of the transfer window.
Armenian forward cost over 40 million euros
At Dortmund, the all-time top goalscorer for Armenia contributed to a remarkable 55 goals in 51 games last season. Of those 55, he netted 23 himself while assisting a further 32.
Alongside his ability, Mkhitaryan provides great versatility to Mourinho. This will be particularly helpful as the new United manager must fit in the plethora of attacking talents he now has available. While Ibrahimovic will only play as the striker, Mkhitaryan can play in that position, or more commonly as a wide right midfielder, as well deeper in central midfield. The right flank is an area in which United have lacked true quality for many years. Antonio Valencia provided that in his debut season at Old Trafford, but since then, quality has been missing. Last season, Louis van Gaal used Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard in that role, not to great effect.
Mkhitaryan is most effective on the right of a 4-2-3-1 which is a formation Mourinho favoured during his last tenure in England, guiding Chelsea to the title before being sacked after an awful start to their defence of it. The Armenian, however, scored or assisted from every position he played in for Dortmund in the Bundesliga and UEFA Europa League.
The confirmation of the move is a big blow to Dortmund as much as it is a great addition to United. The Black and Yellows have already lost Mats Hummels to Bayern Munich and Ilkay Gundogan has joined United’s rivals Manchester City.
Mkhitaryan could face his former club imminently, with a pre-season friendly scheduled for late July in China against Thomas Tuchel’s side.