• The Arsenal boss hopes his new signing can start afresh in north London.
  • Wenger also suggests he could use the Armenian in a deeper midfield role.

Arsene Wenger admits his new Arsenal signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan may have arrived at the club with low confidence after a disappointing end to his spell at Manchester United.

Mkhitaryan, 29, joined the Gunners on Monday (22 January) in a straight swap deal with Alexis Sanchez. The Armenia international spent just 18 months at Old Trafford and while he played an important role in the club's Europa League success in addition to winning the Carabao Cup, he failed to match the exploits that made him one of the Bundesliga's most creative talents prior to his move to Manchester.

It took until late-November for the former Borussia Dortmund star to break into the United starting XI during the 2016-17 campaign and while he began this term brightly with five assists in his first three Premier League matches, his form would trail off dramatically.

In November, he was dropped from Jose Mourinho's starting XI and would make the manager's squad in just five of the next 13 matches in the league, starting just once in that period.

At Arsenal, Mkhitaryan has the chance to start again under a manager who was keen to sign him before United swooped first in the summer of 2016. While Wenger admits he does have some worries over how quickly his new attacker will respond after his challenging time at Old Trafford, he believes he will make the most of his new opportunity.

"Yes, of course you worry about how much it has affected him," Wenger said. "But as well it is a new chance for him, what you want in life is a new chance and I am sure with his quality that he will take it. I met him at the time [he joined United] and at the time we were close but in the end it didn't work."

Mkhitaryan played on both the left and right for United as well as in his favoured role through the middle. Wenger has suggested he will similarly use the Armenian to play a number of different roles, including a deeper role in midfield.

"He can plat in different positions," Wenger said. "But personally I first see him first in a wide position. But I am thinking about him possibly to play through the middle."

When asked if that meant Mkhitaryan playing the number 10 role, typically reserved for Mesut Ozil at the Emirates, he added: "Or maybe even deeper."

Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Mkhitaryan has a fresh start at Arsenal, says Wenger. Getty