On Wednesday 6th July 2016, Manchester United announced their third signing of the summer with Henrikh Mkhitaryan completing his £26 million deal from Borussia Dortmund. The Armenian attacking midfielder had been linked to the Old Trafford for a number of weeks with speculation becoming rife just before Zlatan Ibrahimovic signed for the club on Friday 1st July on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain. Mourinho had already signed Villarreal defender Eric Bailly a month previously. Mourinho highlighted just why he purchased Mkhitaryan because of the 27-year-old excellent record in the Bundesliga and the ability of the player to unlock opposition defences. Speaking to MUTV’s Stewart Gardner about the signing of Mkhitaryan, Mourinho said:
“Well, first of all, let me say that we have brought in the player who was voted the best player in the French league [Zlatan] and with Micki we have brought the player who was voted the best player of the Bundesliga.
“He was voted not by the fans, not by the journalists but voted by the fellow players and that is what means more, I believe, because when your fellow players are the ones that choose you then it means a lot.
“Micki is a fantastic player and what I like more is something that is undeniable, which is the number of goals that he scores by not being a striker. His number of goals per season is really high for somebody that is not a striker. The number of assists is also very clear because it shows clearly his creativity, his vision and his concept of collective play, and that is something that I believe is really important for a club like us.
“We try to be dominant and will, for sure, face teams with a very defensive profile which is his capacity of acceleration of the game. He has a change of speed with the ball and without the ball, and that is very, very important for a club like ours.”
The Armenian will be a very good signing for Manchester United, especially in that Ibrahimovic has already signed and the Swedish striker may benefit from the supply Mkhitaryan could give him at the club. Manchester United head on their pre-season tour of China where they will face Borussia Dortmund on the 22nd July, which could be Mkhitaryan’s debut. United will also face Manchester City on the 25th July before heading to Sweden where they will face Galatasaray before returning to Old Trafford for Wayne Rooney’s testimonial against Everton on the 3rd August. Before that, though, United will travel to the DW Stadium where they will face Wigan Athletic on Saturday 16th July, with Mourinho expected to field a youthful squad – which could feature the likes of Axel Tuanzebe and Tyrell Warren, among others.