For much of last summer Henrikh Mkhitaryan was linked with a move to Liverpool. In fact, so often was he tipped for said move that I soon stopped needing to look up how to spell his name.
But in the end, Borussia Dortmund sealed the deal ahead of the Reds, bringing the Armenian to Germany for a reported £24.4million.
The 25-year-old arrived in the Bundesliga as one of the most free-scoring midfielder’s in Europe. But despite starting his Dortmund career in impressive form – with three goals and an assist in his first four matches – he then went off the boil.
Such was his dip in form that until yesterday, he had not scored a league goal since mid-September.
But against Werder Bremen he rediscovered his goal-scoring boots, netting twice in a 5-1 victory.
He scored from the only two shots he had on target, while completing a pass-percentage of 82%.
And yet it was indicative of how far Liverpool have come since the summer that on the day Mkhitaryan showed just how effective he can be in front of goal, Brendan Rodgers’ side showed they did not need him.
Completing their own 5-1 victory – against the then-league leaders – Liverpool not only showed they are still in the title race, but they demonstrated that Rodgers has put together a very impressive attacking outfit, that does not rely solely on the majestic Luis Suarez for their goals (although he was still outstanding against the Gunners).
So Dortmund may have got the player Liverpool were reportedly desperate to secure, but the Reds may have the last laugh. In fact some would say they already are.
image: © Валерий Дудуш