Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a player reborn as he leads Roma’s scoring charts, pulls the strings and looks like the dynamo who dazzled at Dortmund, the Daily Mail writes.
With eight goals and seven assists under Paulo Fonseca this season, Mhkitaryan is slowly staking a claim as one of Europe’s best midfielders – at least from a statistical point of view.
Manchester United playmaker Bruno Fernandes leads the way with 18 goal involvements this season, but Mkhitaryan isn’t far behind with 15.
Most pundits would rate Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne as the best creative outlet in world football, but the Belgian is lagging behind the Roma man with 11 involvements.
An electric spell of form has seen Mkhitaryan score three and assist three in his last six games, a run that has taken Roma into the top three and helped them push the likes of AC Milan, Inter and Juventus in the title race.
His last game was a starring role in a 3-1 win over Crotone – he assisted Borja Mayoral’s opener and added a third from the penalty spot before half-time.
At Roma, Fonseca has given him more creative freedom in his 3-4-3 set-up. Mkhitaryan sits just behind the forward alongside Lorenzo Pellegrini and has formed a great understanding with frontman Edin Dzeko – who he has outscored.
In fact, he’s Roma’s top scorer overall as well as their top assist provider. If Roma are set to be serious contenders to win their first Scudetto in 20 years, Mkhitaryan will be crucial – and Fonseca deserves huge credit for that.
With a player like Mkhitaryan, getting the best out of him is key because once he starts ticking – the whole team does. He certainly seems to prefer playing centrally after being shafted out to the wing at United and Arsenal.
He’s made himself feel at home in the Italian capital – showing signs of promise on loan last season with nine goals and five assists before the club turned the move permanent. He’s already bettered his total with half the season still to be played.
It’s his ability to pick out a pass from nothing and his X-ray vision in midfield that stands out the most, leading Fonseca to describe him as ‘one of the smartest players I’ve ever trained’.
‘Mkhitaryan is a really clever footballer, a great professional, he can cover a few different positions and he has the perfect attitude. So it hasn’t surprised me the way he’s been able to perform,’ he said after 3-0 win over Parma in November.
‘He is very smart, one of the smartest I’ve ever trained. He knows how to find spaces like few others.’