It has been confirmed that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will wear the No. 7 shirt at Arsenal, the famous jersey previously worn by Robert Pires, David Rocastle and Liam Brady. It was also most recently worn by Alexis Sanchez, the very man with which Mkhitaryan was involved in a swap deal going the other way.
Mkhitaryan was handed the number 22 shirt at Manchester United, the numeral he had previously donned at Shakhtar Donetsk, Metalurh Dontesk and FC Pyunik.
He was #10 At Borussia Dortmund, meaning that this will be the first time he’ll be lucky number seven.
What makes this news-worthy though is the fact that Mkhitaryan is not eligible to wear the No. 7 in Europa League competition however. UEFA protocols states that two players cannot use the same number during a competition. So this is one of those rare occurrences where player will have not one but two squad numbers.
Arsenal have yet to confirm which number the Armenian will don in Europe.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger held a news conference today ahead of the EFL Cup semi-final tomorrow against Chelsea.
During this session, Wenger described the deal thusly: “We lose a world-class player and we gain a world-class player.”
“How efficient will that be? That will be down to the performances of both players,” the Frenchman added.
There could be a second Arsenal transfer swap in this January window, with talks on-going to possibly see the Emirates acquire Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with Olivier Giroud potentially going the other way.
Wenger continued to articulate how he could see the 29-year-old fitting in with his club.
“Mkhitaryan has the qualities to integrate into our game and that is based a lot on movement and technical quality. I think he has the attributes, a good team attitude as well and I’m confident that it will work. He can play in all kinds of positions: on the flanks and he can play through the middle as well. I think he’s very versatile and it should help us to be very efficient going forward.”
Wenger hopes to seamless integrate the attacking midfielder into his side.
“I have no doubt about his attitude, his commitment, his desire to do well. My challenge is to get him to express his talent completely, that we know is absolutely right because he has done extremely well, so he has a new challenge that we want to help him be successful in.”
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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