Henrikh Mkhitaryan insists he is focused on a new challenge at Roma after admitting he “was not fitting in so well in English football”.
Arsenal loaned out the Armenian on deadline day, despite Mkhitaryan featuring in the north London derby only 24 hours prior, with Unai Emery not considering him a valuable member of the first team squad.
Mkhitaryan had struggled for form at both Arsenal and previous club Manchester United, and had fallen behind new signing Nicolas Pepe and the returning Reiss Nelson in the pecking order at the Emirates.
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The Armenia international indicated that his playing role in England could be the reason behind his downturn in form following impressive spells with Shakhtar Donetsk and Borussia Dortmund.
Speaking to the media, Mkhitaryan was candid about his playing history.
“With the national team I play behind the striker, so I have more freedom to move wherever I want, to drop back, to take the ball,” he said.
“But at Arsenal and Manchester United my role was different, I was more responsible for helping to build the play and perhaps that is why I scored fewer goals. But I am trying to do my best to score and assist because that is what I get pleasure from.”
Mkhitaryan was naturally very positive about playing for his new club Roma, who struggled last year in Serie A, finishing sixth and failing to qualify for the Champions League.
“I knew I was not going to play a lot [at Arsenal] – maybe I would sit on the bench, like I did the last three games before the international break,” he said.
“I chose Roma because it was a great opportunity for me. I got a call from my agent and I wanted to come because it was a great opportunity for me.
“I don’t think it is a step back because it is a big club, a great club and everyone knows about it.
“I want to do my best for the club. I am not afraid of pressure. If you are a big player for a big team you are always under pressure and people will be watching your every step.
“I didn’t even have a discussion with my agent about money, I just came here to enjoy my football and to achieve our goals.”