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On-loan Arsenal star Henrikh Mhkitaryan says he feels ‘much better’ under Paolo Fonseca at Roma

Roma loanee Henrikh Mhkitaryan says he is enjoying his football again after leaving Arsenal last summer, and the Armenian heaped praise on his manager Paolo Fonseca for his exciting attacking style. 

The 31-year-old moved to the Italian capital in a temporary switch last September after failing to find his best form at the Emirates, and he has since pushed on in Serie A to become one of Fonseca’s key men.

Mhkitaryan has scored six goals this season with the Armenian star in good form before Italian football shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak as he bagged two goals and three assists.

The former Manchester United and Dortmund star said he has been given a new lease of life at Roma – a contrast from his time at Arsenal, where he claims he struggled to adapt to the tactics of former boss Unai Emery. 

‘When I was at Arsenal, I had different things asked from me by the coach, people were expecting different things from here,’ he told The Times.

‘The philosophy of Emery was different from Fonseca, but here I’m feeling much better because we’re playing better football and I think it matched me.

‘I prefer Fonseca’s football because we’re playing very offensively, we’re trying to have the ball all the time here and of course I like this kind of game.’

He is thought to have settled in well in Rome, but despite his successful spell so far, Mhkitaryan admitted a return to Arsenal could be on the cards given the uncertainty around football at present, with all major leagues suspended due to coronavirus. 

‘I can’t say anything at the moment because the season is stopped, we don’t know when we’ll start playing again and what will happen in the summer.

‘Football changes so quickly. One day you’re here, the other you’re there. You never know what can happen and what will happen with you.’

Italy has become the epicentre of the virus – with over 70,000 cases reported and 7,500 deaths, and Mhkitaryan says he has been following government advice to stay indoors and isolate himself while attempting to stay fit at the same time.

‘We have the programme from the team for training at home, so I’m trying to keep myself fit. 

‘When I heard the situation wasn’t the best and everyone was asking us to stay home, I stopped going outside for a walk or a run. It’s better to stay inside and be an example to everyone, to show them that this is more important, to follow the rules and be at home.’ 

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