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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Arsenal's Mkhitaryan takes dig at Mourinho after Manchester United exit

Armenia international, who is likely to play against Swansea City, says he is pleased to playing for a manager who prefers attacking football

Henrikh Mkhitaryan said in an interview with Uefa in 2009 he wanted to play for Arsenal. He has turned that dream into reality. Julian Finney / Getty Images
Henrikh Mkhitaryan said in an interview with Uefa in 2009 he wanted to play for Arsenal. He has turned that dream into reality. Julian Finney / Getty Images

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has made an apparent dig at former manager Jose Mourinho, saying he is looking forward to playing attacking football as he prepares for his Arsenal debut.

The Armenia international, who joined the London club last week from Manchester United in a swap deal with Alexis Sanchez moving in the opposite direction, is likely to face Swansea City on Tuesday.

Mkhitaryan struggled to pin down a regular starting spot at Old Trafford and was played in a variety of attacking roles during his 18 months at the club.

Mourinho has been criticised for an unwillingness to let his attacking players off the leash in big games despite the rich resources at his disposal.

Mkhitaryan, 29, said in an interview with Uefa back in 2009 that he wanted to play for Arsenal and he has now turned that dream into reality.

"Of course it's very important to have respect from your manager," he told Arsenal Player. "I know that he's demanding and he likes his players to explore.

"He was one of the [reasons] to join Arsenal as well because everyone knows he's a great manager.

"I've known him for a long time and of course it was not very difficult to make this decision to come to Arsenal, because I think the way that Arsenal play [make] it a dream for every player to come here and play offensive football."

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