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Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 10 facts about Arsenal’s new signing

PUBLISHED: 18:32 22 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:32 22 January 2018

Arsenal have signed Henkrik Mkitaryan from Manchester United in a swap with Alex Sanchez. Credit Arsenal FC

Arsenal have signed Henkrik Mkitaryan from Manchester United in a swap with Alex Sanchez. Credit Arsenal FC

Archant

Arsenal have completed the signing of midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Manchester United in a swap deal with Alexis Sanchez. Read on for 10 facts you may not know about Arsenal’s new signing...

A way with words

Mkhitaryan should have no problem communicating with his team mates at the Emirates as he can speak seven languages.

The midfielder is able to speak Armenian, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Ukrainian and German.

Law and order

If the ability to speak seven languages doesn’t demonstrate Mkhitaryan’s intelligence, his plans for retirement might.

The 29-year-old has stated that he wants to become a lawyer when his career comes to an end and he has a Diploma from the Institute of Physical Culture in Armenia.

He was also pursuing a degree in Economics at the St. Petersburg Institute, Yerevan branch before leaving for Ukraine to join Metalurh Donestk in 2009.

Footballing family

The Mkhitaryan family have all been involved in football.

Henrikh’s father, Hamlet Mkhitaryan, played as a striker in Armenia and France before sadly passing away from a brain tumour at the tender age of 33.

His mother, Marina, is the head of the national teams department for the Armenian Football Federation and his elder sister, Monica, works at UEFA’s headquarters.

Jogo bonito

Part of Mkhitaryan’s footballing education took place Brazil.

In 2003, the Armenian travelled alone to the South American country, aged just 14, for a loan spell with Sao Paulo’s U17 side.

Here, he played alongside former Chelsea star Oscar and former Juventus midfielder Hernanes.

Rejection

Mkhitaryan’s career path could have taken a very different path in 2010.

Before signing for Shakhtar Donestk in the summer of that year, he had a trial with Iranian Pro League side Mes Kerman.

However, he was rejected by head coach Samad Marfavi, moved to Shakhtar instead and the rest, as they say, is history.

Training ground sleepover

Commitment and focus are two things that every football fan loves to see and if Mkhitaryan’s time at Shakhtar Donetsk is anything to go by, he has plenty of both.

While at the Ukrainian club, he preferred to live at their training ground rather than his own apartment in order to focus on his football because of his popularity in the city.

It could have been the track

Theo Walcott may have left Arsenal, but could Hector Bellerin have another sprint rival?

Mkhitaryan claims had he not been a footballer he would have been a sprinter.

Honorary recognition

In 2012, Mkhitaryan was made an honorary citizen in his hometown of Yerevan by the city council for his contribution to sport and football success.

Pop culture

The 29-year-old had a successful spell at Shakhtar Donestk, scoring 44 goals in 106 appearances.

These goals made him and Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian very popular.

Khachaturian’s ‘Sabre Dance’ was played every time Mkhitaryan scored at the Donbass Arena and the song became a favourite of the clubs fans and the people of Donestk.

Idols

Mkhitaryan idolised two footballers as a youngster.

The first was current Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, with Mkhitaryan – who spent part of his childhood in France – saying “I really appreciated his style of play and what he did on the pitch. He was like a magician to me.”

The second was his father, Hamlet, who he watched play every week and always wanted to follow him to training – with people who watched both Mkhitaryan and his father say their styles are very similar.

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