Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has cast his doubt over his old club’s transfer targets this January, particularly Manchester United playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The Frenchman, who won the double with Arsenal in the 1997/98 season, has been left rather uninspired by Arsene Wenger’s pursuit of Mkhitaryan, as well as of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Malcom.
Petit knows a thing or two about what it takes to win with the Gunners, and seems to think Wenger should be aiming higher than this trio of targets.
Singling out Mkhitaryan, the pundit warned Wenger that the Armenia international has shown himself to have a weak mentality based on his time in the Premier League so far.
Petit also said he reminded him of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil, but not in a good way.
‘Since he signed for United, he hasn’t been involved enough, and I’m not sure he has a winning mentality,’ Petit told Paddy Power News, as quoted by the Mirror.
‘Sometimes he reminds me of Mesut Ozil – you really have to push him to show his character, and put him under pressure to display his best qualities.
‘There’s no doubt he has great skill, but I’m not sure he’s the kind of footballer Arsenal need. They should be focused on other positions.
‘They must be more competitive on the market – times have changed since I left. There has been a lot of speculation about the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Malcom coming in – but Arsenal should be aiming higher.’
Gianluca Di Marzio claimed yesterday that deals for Mkhitaryan to join Arsenal and Alexis Sanchez to join Manchester United were close to completion, though we still await an official announcement from the clubs.
While Petit makes a point about Mkhitaryan’s relative lack of impact and inconsistency at United, it does seem likely that the 28-year-old would be a more natural fit at Arsenal, and given the freedom in Wenger’s more attack-minded system to recapture the kind of form he displayed during his time at Borussia Dortmund.