Continuing our alphabetical world tour, next up is Armenia. A former Soviet state, Armenia played their first-ever fixture just a few weeks after the first round of Premier League fixtures in 1992.
According to the Premier League website, one Armenian has ever played in the Premier League, but he’s quite a big name…
First (and only) Player – Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United, Arsenal; 2016-present)
A man whose career is very hard to define. A cut above the rest in his early playing days in Armenia and Ukraine, Henrikh Mkhitaryan really started making waves at Borussia Dortmund, winning Bundesliga player of the season in 2015/16 and earning a big-money move to United.
Since then, it’s gone rather pear-shaped. Despite encouraging starts to both of his seasons in Manchester, he never convinced Jose Mourinho that he was deserving of a major role. In January 2018 he was traded to Arsenal in a swap deal involving Alexis Sanchez but again failed to deliver.
He is currently on loan at Roma after a torrid time in England but may return and feature for the Gunners with Mikel Arteta now in charge.
Mkhitaryan is a class player, but seemingly not suited to the Premier League. His name will go down alongside the likes of Angel Di Maria, Andriy Shevchenko and Falcao as world-class players who just weren’t cut out for the Premier League.
- Most Appearances – Henrikh Mkhitaryan (78)
- First appearance – Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Bournemouth 1-3 MAN UNITED, August 14th 2016)
- Most goals – Henrikh Mkhitaryan (13)
- First goal – Henrikh Mkhitaryan (MAN UNITED 1-0 Spurs, December 11th 2016)
- No player who is his country’s only Premier League export has scored more Premier League goals than Henrikh Mkhitaryan (13).
- Mkhitaryan is Armenia’s all-time top scorer (29) and has won Armenian footballer of the year nine times.