Henrikh Mkhitaryan insists his ambition to sample Italian football was a major factor behind his decision to quit Arsenal and join Roma on a season-long loan on Monday.
Mkhitaryan came on as a second-half substitute in Arsenal’s 2-2 with draw against Tottenham on Sunday, but appears to be a long way down in Unai Emery’s pecking order with the Armenian struggling to hit the heights during his time at Emirates Stadium.
And while his move to Roma, who have paid a nominal fee to sign him on loan for the year, does not contain an obligation to buy, it seems the player has donned the Arsenal kit for the last time with widespread reports claiming the Gunners will look to move him on next summer, with his deal at the club due to expire in 2020.
And having previously played in Germany and England, Mkhitaryan revealed his eagerness to shine in Serie A, having being presented at the Stadio Olimpico.
“It will be nice to be able to live the experience of Italian football,” Mkhitaryan told the Evening Standard.
“For me it means a lot. It is a new opportunity, the beginning of a new chapter in my career. Doing it in this club is fantastic.
“I know what this club represents and I am sure that this team can achieve great things.”
Roma are believed to have paid £2.75m loan fee for the 30-year-old, with his move no doubt being welcomed by former Arsenal star Nigel Winterburn.
“Arsenal should look to sell Mkhitaryan to a European team this transfer window,” Winterburn said last month.
“When everyone is back fit for Arsenal, Mkhitaryan is going to struggle to get any game time at all during the season.
“Mkhitaryan looks a frustrated figure, nothing seems to be working out for him on the pitch – his passes are misplaced, his shooting is off and he can’t beat his man.”
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