Should Borussia Dortmund look to bring back Henrikh Mkhitaryan?

As the January window closes in transfer rumors are circulating all over the media platforms. German newspaper Bild is reporting that Manchester United’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan is keen to return to the Signal Iduna Park after being overlooked by Jose Mourinho in recent games. Goal UK also said that the Armenian’s sister, Monika, has fueled the rumor after she tweeted “thousands of yellow hearts” following the congratulatory messages the player got from BVB fans when he was voted Armenia’s football of the year.

It is clear that Borussia Dortmund has been struggling in most of their games this season. After a remarkable start to the league campaign which saw them take a five point lead, the Black and Yellows went over two months without securing a single win in the league.

One of the problems in these struggles was the inability to create clear-cut scoring chances. BVB lost Marco Reus to injury during their DFB Pokal final back in May, sold Ousmane Dembele, arguably their best player of last season, to Barcelona in the summer and had to solely rely on 19-year-old American star Christian Pulisic for creativity.

Max Philipp was brought from Freiburg made a promising start to his BVB career before he also, like the man he resembles (Reus), sustained an injury during the game against Bayer Leverkusen. Ukrainian winger Yarmolenko is also another player who was signed to offer a creative spark but the jury is still out on the number 9 because of his inconsistent performance.

As result of injuries BVB may look to the transfer market to bolster their front line and get back to their best. Mkhitaryan certainly offers that in terms of his ability to create chances. The seven-time Armenia footballer of the year had 23 goals and 32 assists in 52 matches across all competitions during his last season at Dortmund. If he could replicate that form then it will be a huge gain for Peter Stöger’s team.  This season in the EPL, going into Saturday’s match against Southampton,  Mkhitaryan has one goal and five assists in fifteen appearances for Manchester United.  Last season, he recorded 11 goals and five assists in 41 matches in all competitions for the Red Devils following his huge 2015/16 season for BVB.


However, things aren’t as straight forward as that. Micki left BVB under controversial circumstances. The club was adamant on holding on to the 2015/16 Bundesliga footballer of the year but because the attacking midfielder had his eyes set on Old Trafford disagreement ensued. Some reports even suggested that Agent Mino Raiola threw a chair after the BVB board said they didn’t want to sell Mkhitaryan.

BVB would have to pay a lot for him and that is also another issue. BVB received € 42 from United in July, 2016 for the midfielder, and currently values him at 35 Mkhitaryan is now 28 years old(he turns 29 in three weeks) and at best will have three years at the top level. He isn’t really the young, long-term solution BVB usually go for. And as long as the BVB fans are concerned don’t expect all of them to receive him with open arms.

But BVB have shown the tendency to bring back players from their glory years.  Mario Götze, Shinji Kagawa and Nuri Şahin have all returned to Dortmund after departing earlier.  And Mkhitaryan is probably available. He has been in Mourinho’s doghouse after a solid start to the season. Until the Southampton fixture, Mkhitaryan hadn’t started a league match since November 5th, although he’d been used off the bench by Mourinho in the last three matches, with the coach citing the Armenian’s Boxing Day performance as reason to name him to the starting lineup in 2017’s last match.  Rumors have him being a prime transfer object of Inter Milan, as Manchester United seem willing to let him go for the right price.  Mkhitaryan was subbed out against Southampton after 63 minutes.

Mkhitaryan could certainly improve BVB, but there just seems to be a lot of unsettled issues with him and the board/fans while his production has fallen off in England compared to what he did in the Bundesliga. The top priority for the Black and Yellows should be to secure a defender. Following that they should turn their eyes towards a younger player who will cost a lot less.

What do you think Dortmund fans? Let us know in the comment section.

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Brook lives in Ethiopia, and started following the Bundesliga from a very young age. His favourite players then were Thomas Rosicky - the reason he became a Dortmund fan! - and Marcelinho of Hertha Berlin. He likes to watch, read, write and talk about football with special interest in discussing emerging young talents. Follow @brookge

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  1. Very ambivalent about bringing Mikhi back to BVB. I don’t like how he and Raola forced his sale before the last year of his contract. And his poor form at Man U. is worrying. But if the club wants him back and can get him for under 30 or so, then I’d be willing to give him another chance.

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