Armenia beat Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday by 4-2. The indisputable star of the game was Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan, currently on loan at AS Roma.
Mkhitaryan opened the scoring after less than three minutes, and after former Manchester City striker, now Mkhitaryan’s Roma teammate Edin Dzeko, equalized ten minutes later, he restored the lead for Armenia in the 66th. Assisted by Arsenal’s Sead Kolasinac, Amer Gojak set the score level for the second time in the 70th, and then Mkhitaryan added an assist to his brace as he set Hovhannes Hambardzumyan for Armenia’s third with 13 minutes to go. An own-goal from Sjepan Loncar in the final minute of the game set the final score.
It was certainly a fantastic performance from the loaned-out Gunner, something he hasn’t been showing with a great level of consistency at the Emirates. It was certainly one of the reasons manager Unai Emery decided to let him go for the season, and it remains to be seen how well he will do in Italy over the course of the season. That is something that will very likely influence his future with Arsenal.
Speaking of that, Mkhitaryan was asked about that very subject in an interview prior to the game, and all he could reveal was his own uncertainty. He admits he doesn’t know what is going to happen next summer. He stressed that the importance of focusing on the next game, and he’s keen to see what he can do for Roma himself, before looking past the expiration date on the loan deal.
He was also asked about his preferred position in a Roma shirt, and he replied that he’d be willing to play anywhere on the pitch to help the team. Roma also signed Chris Smalling from Manchester United on loan, after failing to secure such a deal for Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren.
As for Arsenal, Nicolas Pepe arrived for a club-record fee, along with Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid. If the Spaniard remains at the Emirates permanently after this season, it’s hard to see where Mkhitaryan would fit in upon a potential return to north London.