Former Arsenal star Nigel Winterburn has encouraged the Gunners to offload Henrikh Mkhitaryan this month as he sees him struggling to get into the line-up.
The 30-year-old arrived in north London in January 2018 in a swap deal which saw Alexis Sanchez move in the opposite direction to join Manchester United.
It’s a switch that hasn’t worked out for either player as Mkhitaryan has managed just nine goals and 13 assists in 57 appearances for the Gunners.
With Unai Emery continuing to strengthen this squad this summer with the likes of Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos arriving, it doesn’t look particularly promising for the Armenian international in the sense that he could find himself falling down the pecking order at Arsenal.
While the Gunners are set to compete on multiple fronts this season, again featuring in the Europa League, it could be argued that they do need quality depth and so Mkhitaryan may well have a role to play still.
However, Winterburn isn’t convinced that it’s the right move and he believes that they should try to sell him before the transfer deadline around Europe.
“Arsenal should look to sell Mkhitaryan to a European team this transfer window,” he told sportingbet. “When everyone is back fit for Arsenal, Mkhitaryan is going to struggle to get any game time at all during the season.
“Mkhitaryan looks a frustrated figure, nothing seems to be working out for him on the pitch – his passes are misplaced, his shooting is off and he can’t beat his man. His performance against Newcastle in the opening game of the season wasn’t good enough, especially when you’re playing at the highest level.”
Time will tell if that’s something that Emery agrees with or whether or not the Spaniard still values what Mkhitaryan can offer his side moving forward.
The expectation is that Pepe could form an attacking trident alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, and so it’s difficult to disagree with Winterburn’s assessment of the situation as it could lead to frustration for all parties concerned further down the road over a lack of playing time.