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Henrikh Mkhitaryan has slammed the suggestion he was merely a makeweight in the deal which saw Alexis Sanchez leave Arsenal for Manchester United. Jose Mourinho swooped for the former Barcelona forward in January after Manchester City pulled out of the race to sign the 29-year-old, refusing to cave to the demands of Sanchez’s agent. Mkhitaryan, who had endured a difficult relationship with Mourinho, joined Arsenal on the same day that Sanchez was unveiled at Old Trafford, but the Armenia international insists he would have joined the Gunners, regardless of the Chilean’s transfer.
He told FourFourTwo: ‘When I heard I could swap Manchester United for Arsena, I said ‘yes I want to do that’. ‘I wasn’t evening thinking twice or thinking that maybe I don’t have to go. I said ‘no I want to go. I want to have more playing time. I want to enjoy playing attacking, offensive football’. I made the right decision coming here. ‘I didn’t’ come here to replace anyone. Everyone keeps saying that I’ve been part of a deal for Alexis Sanchez but it’s not true because he was running down his contract. ‘If he didn’t choose to come to Manchester United, he would have stayed at Arsenal until the summer.
‘Everything was up to me. I’m not saying I was important in this aspect but I want everyone to understand I wasn’t made part of the deal for Alexis Sanchez. ‘I came to Arsenal because Arsene Wenger wanted me. It’s not because he wanted to replace me. ‘We’re different players, we’re different characters, we have different abilities and skills. ‘I will try my best for the club to achieve as much as we can. I want to leave my name in Arsenal as a legend because it’s not easy to come to a team where you have been dreaming of playing for since you were a child.’