Wayne Rooney expects Henrikh Mkhitaryan to push on at Arsenal like he has not managed to do at Manchester United. The forward made his first start for the Gunners in a remarkable fashion last weekend, leading to a hat-trick of assists against Everton, playing with such freedom he has never managed under Jose- Mourinho, Rooney pointed out.
The former Borussia Dortmund man arrived at the Emirates as part of a swap deal, which saw Alexis Sanchez move the other way to Old Trafford. He paired with former Dortmund teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, teeing up the striker for his first goal in an Arsenal shirt following his transfer on deadline day.
Arsenal rode on the back of their new signings to thrash the Toffees 5-1 following a disappointing mid-week away loss to Swansea,. The win takes them to within five points off a top-four spot, with a game against Tottenham scheduled for the weekend.
The north London club were at it from the beginning, with the first goal coming after only six minutes. Mesut Ozil played a neat pass to Aubameyang, who laid the ball out to Mkhitaryan on the right, whose cross found an unmarked Aaron Ramsey. The second goal came from a corner after Aubameyang had his first shot on target which was parried behind by the keeper.
From Ozil's corner, Shkodran Mustafi flicked on and Laurent Koscielny was free, almost on the line, to dive and head into an open net. The third goal came on 19 minutes at the end of another lovely move, as Ramsey found himself in acres of space to sidefoot a shot that found the top of the net via a deflection off Eliaquim Mangala.
Ramsey completed his hat-trick on the end of another cut-back by Mkhitaryan, his first in a Gunners shirt.
Rooney believes that the Armenian will finally realise his potential at Arsenal, having not had the freedom at United to express himself.
"I've seen it last season in training a lot, he's a very talented player," Rooney said, as quoted by the Mirror, while speaking on Monday Night Football. "I think at Manchester United he didn't get the freedom he really wanted to go and perform, that he had at Dortmund and that style of play that Dortmund played.
"And at Arsenal he'll have players round him running off the ball, taking the ball and he'll create goals and score goals. I really do think he'll kick on."