Press conference

'Mkhitaryan knows how to fight at the top level'

Arsene Wenger is clearly excited about the prospect of working with Henrikh Mkhitaryan - and says his challenge is to get the Armenian to "express his talent".

The former Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund playmaker will have his first training session at the club on Tuesday, and beforehand the boss had this to say about him:

on his reaction to the Mkhitaryan/Alexis swap…
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. 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.

on what Mkhitaryan will bring to the front line…
I would say quality of runs, quality of creativity, and he can be very penetrating with his passing and his runs. Also technical stability in our team and experience as well. He knows what it is to fight at the top level.

on whether he is confident he can get the best out of Mkhitaryan…
I hope, yes. I have no doubt about his attitude, his commitment, his desire to do well. He suffered a little bit maybe from the competition he had there and overall that is his challenge. 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.

on whether Mkhitaryan’s time with Manchester United affected his confidence…
I don’t know that very well, I will know much more about that in the next two to three weeks.

on whether he will go straight into the team…
That depends first of all on the team performances and on his own fitness and performances in training as well.

on whether he can play alongside Mesut Ozil…
They can play together as well, of course.

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