Henrikh Mkhitaryan has expressed his excitement to begin “a new chapter” after he completed a season-long loan move to AS Roma before the European transfer market closed on Monday.
The Armenian struggled to maintain a starting position at Arsenal during his 18 month stay at the Emirates. He was in Unai Emery’s starting XI for their season opener against Newcastle but has since amassed just 27 minutes of game time.
Mkhitaryan joined the Gunners in January 2018 as part of a swap deal with Alexis Sanchez, who also made a loan move to Serie A this summer, joining Manchester United.
Roma have paid a loan fee of £2.75m for the attacking midfielder and have no obligation to buy him at the end of the season.
Speaking after the move, in quotes carried by the Evening Standard, the 30-year-old said: “It will be nice to be able to live the experience of Italian football.
“For me it means a lot. It is a new opportunity, the beginning of a new chapter in my career. Doing it in this club is fantastic. I know what this club represents and I am sure that this team can achieve great things.”
Mkhitaryan has played under some great managers, including Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp, and is relishing the opportunity to work for his new coach Paulo Fonseca after watching the 46-year-old transform his old club Shakhtar Donetsk.
On his Roma boss, the Armenian added: “I know how he plays, I know because I was watching my former team, Shakhtar Donetsk, when he was the coach. I really liked the way they play, I hope he can pass on their ideas here in Rome too.
“I think he has good ideas, that he's smart. That is why he is here. My expectations are high, I think he can benefit the club a lot. All players want to play attacking football, it is nice to look at. We will also try to play an attacking football to make the fans happy.”
Roma currently sit 15th in Serie A after drawing their first two games of the season. Mkhitaryan will hope to make his debut on 15 September when his new club hosts Sassuolo.