Why Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a better Liverpool signing than Christian Eriksen

Christian Eriksen playing for Denmark at Euro 2012

Is Henrikh Mkhitaryan a better signing for Liverpool than Christian Eriksen?

Liverpool had appeared set to 'miss out' on Christian Eriksen of Ajax, but they might just be getting a better deal in Henrikh Mkhitaryan instead.

The Armenian is on the verge of completing a move to the Reds, which would rule out the chances of Liverpool spending big on Eriksen too, another attacking midfielder who would compete for his position.

Eriksen has long been touted as the 'next big thing' in European football, but he is one of the most discussed transfer options for top clubs on the continent this summer.

Borussia Dortmund are looking at the Dane and are favourites to snap him up. Liverpool should not be looking on in jealousy.

Eriksen has a fine record in the Eredivisie, 10 goals and 17 assists for Ajax this season, one which however is eclipsed by Mkhitaryan's 25 goals and 10 assists in Ukraine's Premier League.

It's hard to truly compare the records however due to the different natures of the leagues, while in this season's Champions League - Eriksen's one goal and four assists actually betters Mkhitaryan's two goals and no assists.

Yet in terms of maturity and readiness, Mkhitaryan may just be far more suitable to Liverpool's requirements right now.

The Armenian is used to being a top star who his country rely upon, able to deal with that kind of pressure. At 24-years-old he is regarded as more 'ready right now', rather than a prospect like Eriksen who may take longer to reach his peak.

Liverpool do not have masses of time to wait, not according to Brendan Rodgers who has urged them to make a sustained push for next season's Champions League places.

This means his showpiece summer signing needs to be ready to slot straight in and produce, and Mkhitaryan may just be more unlikely to freeze on the big stage like Eriksen did with Denmark at Euro 2012.

Granted that was a year ago, and international form and club form do not correspond - the whole Dutch team of major stars also flopped at the tournamen - but when the two players went head to head earlier this month it was Mlkhitaryan who inspired Armenia to a 4-0 win over Denmark in Copenhagen with Eriksen unimpressive.

Mkhitaryan seems not just a player in form, but a plug in and play attacker who can instantly light up Liverpool's team, where with Eriksen there may just have been several frustrating moments ahead in the quest to fulfill his potential, which granted could eventually have a higher peak than the former.

If that means Liverpool paying a little bit more right now, they won't mind, for supporters are tired of being out of the big time and want to get back into Europe's elite competition as soon as possible and continue building from there. Spending £21 million on a raw but talented 21-year-old may just have been more of a gamble than they would have liked.

Mkhitaryan or Eriksen - Who is the best option in your opinion?

images: © Валерий Дудуш, © Кирилл Крыжановский

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