It strikes me that there’s so much speculation regarding Mkhitaryan because Liverpool’s midfield was so lackluster last season.
Yes, Steven Gerrard still has plenty of get-up and go, but the Liverpool legend isn’t getting any younger. The Reds may have to face up to the fact that their captain will begin to offer less and less over the coming years.
Then there’s Joe Allen, a youngster who promised much when he made he followed Brendan Rodgers from Swansea City to Liverpool, but has offered very little. Allen has faced his share of injury problems, but has largely disappointed when he’s had an opportunity to prove himself.
Indeed, Liverpool have very little attacking flair to offer in the centre-of-the-park. This must surely be why Henrikh Mkhitaryan provides such an appeal.
The attacking midfielder (who happens to be a three time Armenian Player of the Year – beating off staunch competition, I’m sure) is nothing if he’s not effective. Last season he knocked home 26 goals from in 39 games. Most strikers would kill for those kind of figures.
He’s a smart footballer, with a big engine, who knows how to position himself so that he can cause problems to opposition defenders. He certainly looks capable of making the step up from the Ukrainian League (he’s currently with Shakhtar Donetsk), to join a top Premier League club.
How much he’d cost the Reds is an interesting question. According to Shakhtar’s Chief Executive, Sergei Palkin he could leave for just £19.8m if he forces the move, or £25.5m if everybody plays by the rules:
“Mkhitaryan doesn’t have a release clause in his contract, but it does spell out the penalties for unilateral termination of the contract, which is equal to $30m (£19.8m),” the British-trained accountant explained.
If Mkhitaryan wants to terminate the contract, he must pay Shakhtar $30m and go to a club that he likes. If we go in a civilized manner and sell the player, and in doing so he does not break the contract, the value we place on him is 30million euros (£25.5m).” (Source: The Mirror)
Does this suggest that Liverpool could pay Mkhitaryan the £20m necessary to break his contract and make a £5.5m saving? Perhaps – it’s not entirely clear what the legalities are in this situation.
Either way, I’d like to see Brendan go for it. Borussia Dortmund are already thought to have made a bid, so the sooner Liverpool register their interest the better. Let’s hope the Reds can pull it off – even if it means playing a little dirty.
What’s your take? Should Liverpool look to sign Henrikh Mkhitaryan? How much will he cost?
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