Why Henrikh Mkhitaryan Needs Two Squad Numbers At Arsenal
New Arsenal star Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been at the centre of a transfer saga this month, but the Armenian is not yet able to enjoy a quiet start to life at the Emirates Stadium.
Mkhitaryan arrived this week in a straight-swap with Alexis Sanchez, who joined Manchester United after refusing to find a solution to his contract situation in North London.
The deal appeared to suit all parties, with the Gunners new boy set to inherit Sanchez’s number seven shirt, but he is only able to do that domestically.
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Because the Chilean wore that number in a clash with Cologne in the Europa League group stage earlier this season, UEFA rules state he must wear another in the competition.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan's first training session with his new Arsenal team-mates. He looks very happy. (Source: SkySports) pic.twitter.com/B2WF2fyW9Y— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) January 23, 2018
A statement on Arsenal’s website said: ‘The No.7 shirt was vacated by Alexis this month but, because our former forward wore the number during our group-stage win against Cologne back in September, UEFA rules state that Mkhitaryan must wear a different number for the remainder of our Europa League campaign.’
‘This number will be confirmed soon.’
Arsenal face Ostersunds in the next round of the Europa League next month.