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Arsene Wenger insists Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s Arsenal debut will be put on hold unless he proves his fitness and form in training. Mkhitaryan, 29, completed his move to the Emirates on Monday evening in a deal that sees Alexis Sanchez heading in the opposite direction.’
The Red Devils signed the Armenian midfielder from Borussia Dortmund in 2016 but he failed to convince Jose Mourinho of his ability.
Now an Arsenal player, Wenger is backing Mkhitaryan to revitalise his career in north London but admits he was ‘suffering’ at Manchester United. ‘I have no doubt about his attitude and his desire to do well,’ Wenger said on Tuesday morning. ‘He suffered from the competition he had there [United]. ‘It’s my challenge to get him to express his incredible talent which we know is absolutely there. He has a new challenge.
Asked when he expects Mkhitaryan to make his debut for the Gunners, Wenger said: ‘That depends on the team performances and his own fitness and performances in training.’ Wenger has been resigned to losing Sanchez but is happy to have secured a deal for Mkhitaryan, who he labelled a ‘world-class player’. ‘I believe we lose a world-class player and gain a world-class player,’ Wenger said about the swap deal. ‘Mkhitaryan has the qualities to integrate into our game. ‘He has a good team attitude. He’s very versatile. He can play in all kinds of positions.’