It is now official; Liverpool have unfortunately missed out on Armenian international striker Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The attacking midfielder has instead made the move to Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund for a fee believed to be in the region of €27.5 million; making him the clubs record signing.
He joins fellow new boys Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang as Dortmund look intent on creating a first-team containing the longest names in professional football.
Now while as an Everton fan I could sit and revel in the disappointment of my city rivals I am also gutted not to see the mercurial maestro playing week-in week-out on our shores; as when I have had the pleasure of watching him play for Shakhtar in the past I have always felt like I got my money’s worth.
And Dortmund will be hoping they get their money’s worth as well; and went some way toward highlighting their confidence in their new signing by giving him the shirt number previously worn by the most expensive German footballer in history.
Mkhitaryan has been given the number '10' shirt previously worn by Mario Gotze. Mkhitaryan is being tasked with replacing the departed Bayern Munich man on the pitch and that has been made clear by the decision to quite literally let him step into the space left behind by the €37 million Bayern signing.
With Dortmund and Bayern set to go toe-to-toe for German, and potentially European, dominance once again next season the performances of both clubs recent bank breaking signings could prove the difference in the race for silverware.
What next for Liverpool?
Well Luis Suarez is clearly set on an exit this summer and, as quality a player he is, he is a volatile personality at the best of times; imagine what he would be like if he was perpetually ticked off?
Selling him may soon become a necessity purely to keep morale high in the face of a disruptive atmosphere potentially spilling into the camp; a new recruit would then become necessary.
Christian Eriksen at Ajax is being linked once again and he would be an excellent alternative; he himself was very close to wearing the number '10' left behind by Gotze at Signal Iduna this summer; if reports in Germany are to be believed.
But could he, or anyone else for that matter, take the number ‘7’ from Suarez this summer?
Will Suarez stay? Will Mkhitaryan claw back the Bundesliga for Dortmund? Should Eriksen be targeted?
image: © (Mick Baker)rooster