Bundesliga news

Mkhitaryan: I'm no Gotze

July 12, 2013
By Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent

New Borussia Dortmund signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan has dismissed claims that he is Mario Gotze's direct replacement at the club.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan enjoyed a fine Dortmund debut
GettyImagesHenrikh Mkhitaryan opted for Champions League runners-up Dortmund ahead of five-time European Cup winners Liverpool.

Mkhitaryan joined Dortmund from Shakhtar Donetsk for €27.5 million on Tuesday, and was instantly tipped to fill the role left by Gotze, who completed his switch to Bayern Munich earlier in the summer.

However, the Armenia international, who is the Westfalenstadion side's record signing, insists he will only be focusing on his own game when he pulls on the Dortmund shirt next season.

"I can't compare myself to him [Gotze]," he said in Reviersport. "He is a different player. I came here to help the club achieve its goals."

Mkhitaryan had at one point been touted for a move to Liverpool this summer, and when asked if there had also been interest from the Reds, the midfielder failed to deny it.

Mkhitaryan did, though, state that opting for a move to Dortmund had been easy.

"I decided with my heart," he said.

The former Shakhtar man said he was delighted at the way that his new team-mates had welcomed him to the club.

"That has helped me a lot," he said, revealing that Kevin Grosskreutz, his room-mate for Dortmund's summer training camp, had already taught him much about the club.

Dortmund-born Grosskreutz played the same role in helping Shinji Kagawa to settle in during his first couple of weeks in Germany, teaching him the songs he had learnt in the stands as a BVB season ticket holder.

Mkhitaryan's arrival at Dortmund led to much celebration in his native Armenia. The Central Committee of the Armenians in Germany released a press statement calling him an "exceptional sportsman" and "not only a rising star on the football landscape" but also "a successful ambassador for Armenia".

Mkhitaryan's Dortmund debut was broadcast live on the club's official website, with one in every five viewers hailing from Armenia.

This led local German football weekly Reviersport to suggest that Dortmund should now set their sights on Sporting Lisbon and India international Sunil Chhetri.

The paper said: "He'd be available for less than €1 million and is loved in his home country. He has scored 36 goals in 61 caps for India - some 1.25 billion potential BVB fans."