The Armenian midfielder also could have joined the Reds. Does he have to regret his decision despite Liverpool's success?
Liverpool tried and failed to sign Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Shakhtar Donetsk last summer, losing out on him to Borussia Dortmund instead. Yesterday we discussed how the Armenian may have made a huge mistake considering Liverpool's rapid progression this season - but German correspondent Robert Schuller presents an alternate view...
Liverpool this season are surpassing all expectations, and have a superb chance of winning the Premier League. They play an attractive football style and have some very convincing victories like last weekend against United - also beating Arsenal and Tottenham convincingly. The team can also be confident about their future thanks to the contract extension of key player Luis Suarez.
Dortmund on the other hand are struggling to defend their second place in the in the Bundesliga table against Schalke and Leverkusen and are already 23 points behind dominant leaders of Bayern.
However, the Armenian midfielder took the right decision when he joined the West German team. Dortmund still have the German Cup semi-final to play and are also into the Champions League quarter-finals.
Liverpool's chances to win the Premier League won't exactly be too easy themselves with Chelsea ahead of them and Manchester City with the chance to pass them in the table if they win their games in hand.
While their prospects going forward, Liverpool next season will have to live with the burden of expectation; how will that pan out? Manchester United then will probably come back as a huge competition with a lot of top quality players and like Liverpool this season; may not have the European football as a distraction.
Liverpool’s coach Brendan Rodgers is far less experienced than Jurgen Klopp. He still has to show that he can be successful with his team for more than just one season and the Champions League will be a new adventure for him; at least balancing it with Premier League commitments.
Dortmund’s coach Klopp on the other hand has now proved for the last couple of years that his work meets highest national and international standards. So far he has won the Bundesliga twice with Dortmund and the German Cup once. His team qualified in this Champions League season in first place in the group stage ahead of teams like Arsenal and Naples; and are showing that last years’ participation in the Champions League final wasn’t just a lucky shot.
Dortmund will also be successful in the following years as they have already showed in the past, that they are able to replace key players equally, like Kagawa with Reus, Sahin with Gündogan or Götze with Aubemayang. Everybody in Germany knows that they will also find a good replacement for Lewandowski next season.
But what happens if Liverpool is having a poor season next year without qualifying for the Champions League? Will Suarez stay in such a case or might he just leave to a big team like Real despite his contract with the Reds as soon as the side show signs of dropping off? What will happen to Rodgers if he can’t meet the now high expectations in the following years? Who will replace Gerrard, the heart of the team, when he retires?
Liverpool enjoy their excellent current performances, but who knows if it will go on like that for them. At Dortmund, Mkhitaryan knows he is part of sustained success. The competition of the big teams in the Premier League is simply stronger than in the Bundesliga and the example of the current English champion shows that things can change very fast in football.
A young player like Mkhitiryan needs a stable work environment to develop and the perspective to play regularly in the Champions League. All these things remains more likely with Dortmund than he would have had with Liverpool.