Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughHenrikh Mkhitaryan leads Armenian charge (Video) - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Henrikh Mkhitaryan leads Armenian charge (Video) - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Henrikh Mkhitaryan leads Armenian charge (Video)

Armenian football certainly has not had much the shout out since their independence from the Soviet Union in 1992. However, thanks to Herikh Mkhitaryan of Shakhtar Donetsk, hope abounds that though it may not be in this qualification campaign, that the minnows from Eastern Europe might just be about to cause a splash.

Indeed, Armenia almost qualified for the last European Championships, only to be denied a place in the qualification play-offs after a controversial defeat to the Republic of Ireland in Dublin, a game marked by a dodgy red card given to their captain and goalkeeper. However, despite being down to 10 men and 2-0 down, the Armenians managed to pull a goal back and had Irish nerves jangling as they pressed for an equaliser. The goalscorer that day? Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

On first glance he may appear just another Eastern European with an unpronounceable name but as the video below shows, Mkhitaryan looks one of the finest prospects to come out of the region in a very long time. Very much an attacking midfielder, Mkhitaryan not only possesses creative nous and an eye for a pass, but crucially is a huge goal threat, as Italy found out on Friday night in Yerevan, when a goal from the 23-year-old looked like it was about to give the hosts an unlikely point against their more illustrious opponents before Italian class brought two late goals.

That goal was no isolated incident for Mkhitaryan, who top-scored in Armenia’s valiant attempt at qualification for Euro 2012, as well as scoring over 10 goals in the last two sesason’s for his club side. Indeed, Mkhitaryan is currently the Ukrainian league’s top scorer with 14 goals after only 11 matches played. That is some record, no matter who might sneer at the standard of opposition he faces.

Moves to a Western European heavyweight have already been mooted and if Mkhitaryan can keep up his sensational form then it is surely a matter of when, not if, the young man moves.

Adam Mazrani