United have surprisingly not announced the arrival of Mkhitaryan officially as of yet but it seems just a matter of time before the confirmation is made and the 27-year-old is believed to be joining the Red Devils for a fee of around £26 million.
Many feel that United have managed to pull off a very good deal for Mkhitaryan and the Armenian international is widely expected to flourish at Old Trafford during the upcoming campaign.
However, there are few who are not entirely convinced with United’s signing of Mkhitaryan and Liverpool legend Phil Thompson is certainly one of them.
In his column for Sky Sports, Thompson stated that United have overpaid for Mkhitaryan due to the fact that the former Shakhtar Donetsk man does not score enough goals and compared the signing to Liverpool’s £34 million capture of Sadio Mane from Southampton.
Thompson stated, "I think we've paid far too much for him (Sadio Mane). Perhaps it's because of the money coming into the Premier League. Just look at Crystal Palace reportedly making a £31m bid for Michy Batshuayi.
"It's the same with Manchester United stumping up £30m for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, a 27-year-old who doesn't score as much as Mane.”
Thompson has been a well respected pundit for a number of years now and his opinions are most certainly very highly valued.
However, his comments on Mkhitaryan could not have been more misguided. Just a brief glance at Mkhitaryan’s stats over the past few years immediately shows that Thompson’s claim about the midfielder not scoring enough goals is ridiculous.
The 27-year-old has managed 136 goals in 372 appearances (roughly, 1 goal per every 3 games) throughout his career is a very good goalscoring record for any attacking midfielder or even for a striker for that matter.
While many may discount the Armenian superstar’s efforts for the likes of Pyunik Yerevan and Metalurh Donetsk, it would be difficult to argue against his fine record for Shakhtar and Dortmund.
Admittedly, Mkhitaryan did manage only 4 goals during the 2014/15 campaign but it was a season where the entire Dortmund team simply did not perform and the year can be written off as an rare anomaly.
Discounting that particular season, Mkhitaryan has managed a whopping 80 goals in just 202 appearances since 2010 and paying £26 million for a player of such quality seems a no brainer, especially for a United side who have been terrible in front of goal in recent times.
Manchester United have been missing a top quality goalscoring midfielder since Paul Scholes retired and while it is certainly too early to make such lofty comparisons, Mkhitaryan is more than capable of emulating the legendary Englishman at Old Trafford as well as proving Thompson wrong.