Arsene Wenger is satisfied to have a “committed and focused” player on board after the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan touched base at the Emirates in a swap for Alexis Sanchez.
The North London club allowed Sanchez to join Manchester United on Monday to avoid from losing the Chilean on a free transfer when his contract lapsed at the end of the season.
The Gunners got Mkhitaryan in return, with Wenger affirming the Armenia international has signed a contract running until June 2021.
Adding a committed proficient player to the squad gave some bliss to Wenger in a transfer window he portrayed as “more irritating than any other time in recent memory”.
“The thinking behind the deal is that we have a player who has four months contract basically and we move [him] out for free and in exchange, we have a player in Mkhitaryan who has a three-and-a-half-year contract,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.
“So first it makes sense from a negotiations point of view and secondly we’re replacing a very good player with a very good player, a world-class player with a world-class player. That’s what it’s about, to keep our strength in the team.
“I must say this transfer period has been a bit more disturbing than ever in the middle of the season, and I’m quite happy when the period is over.”
Meanwhile, The Gunners boss hopes Mkhitaryan, who scored five goals in 39 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils, can score frequently and also add a spark of creativity alongside Mesut Ozil, another player whose future at Emirates Stadium is unverifiable in the midst of contract negotiations.
“Mkhitaryan can play on the wing or in midfield, so I believe he can play very well in many positions,” said Wenger.
“That can help us as well because he can play together with Ozil as well as a playmaker, so overall it’s a good move.
“Maybe where he’s a bit short is on goalscoring but he has improved that. If you look at the number of goals he’s scored in his career, it’s quite impressive overall.
“It is vital as well to have players who have experience because we have a very good bunch of young players but we know that it’s not sufficient in the Premier League today to put them all in together. You also need a good weight of experience in your team and he will contribute to that.”
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