Midfield prodigy Mario Götze is gone, and now Robert Lewandowski is leaving on a free to Bayern next season… It was about time Borussia Dortmund fans had some good news, so here it is.
This morning the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League runners up announced Armenian attacker Henrikh Mkhitaryan has signed for a club record fee of $36 million from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donestk.
“We are delighted that we got a fantastic new signing for the attacking midfield role in Henrikh Mkhitaryan,” said BVB sporting director Michael Zorc.
Hans-Joachim Watzke, Borussia Dortmund’s chairman said, “It was not an easy transfer, but we really wanted to have Henrikh – and now we have him!”
So as Dortmund rejoiced at the capture of the highly-rated Mkhitaryan, can they kick on with him as their focal point next season?
He shone in the Ukrainian Premier Liga, with 25 goals in 29 games last season and the 24-year-old was hounded by Liverpool all summer before deciding to join Dortmund. He is likely the instant replacement for Götze and if he succeeds, that will be a tremendous piece of business. It is not often you can replace your star player and get a profit, if Mkhitaryan excels he will make the Dortmund front office look like mathematical geniuses who can rival Harry Redknapp’s once indelible scent for a bargain on the transfer market.
One thing we do know is that the young Armenian is quite the cunning linguist, as BVB’s official website claims he can speak English, Portuguese, French and Russian. And some others.
But on the field his languid, fluid style of play fits right in with what Dortmund need. Someone he can take the ball from the defensive midfielders and drive forward with purpose and pace, but can also pick out a pass. Just like Götze. Mkhitaryan always seems to have time on the ball and also times his runs from midfield perfectly. Just like Götze.
Can Mkhitaryan drive Dortmund onto another incredibly successful campaign in the Champions League? He has done it for several seasons with Donestk, so why not.
If Dortmund’s defensive midfield duo of Sven Bender and İlkay Gündoğan can get the ball to Mkhitaryan quickly and efficiently, he will do the rest.
Despite the disappointment of losing Götze to Bayern and Lewandowski also casually on his way to Munich next season, Dortmund’s fans should be hugely excited by the player they’ve acquired. Just watch the You Tube compilation video below.
There is a reason why Mkhitaryan was chased by Europe’s biggest clubs. But there is also a reason he chose Dortmund. This player and this club were meant for each other. Let the romance begin.