Oleksandr Zinchenko moved from Manchester City to Arsenal. The footballer signed a four-year contract, the cost of the transfer was € 35 million.
Zinchenko has been playing for City since the 2017/2018 season. In the last Premier League season, the 25-year-old played 15 matches, giving four effective passes. Clearly, it was time for Alexander to change the scene. Manchester City head coach Josep Guardiola hasn’t really trusted him lately. The trend has only gotten worse. Arsenal is the best place for Alexander for several reasons.
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Zinchenko is well acquainted with Mikel Arteta, who believes in him
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta previously worked as an assistant to Guardiola at Manchester City. I crossed paths with Zinchenko and knows his capabilities very well.
“Zinchenko is a high quality player who will give us options and versatility. It’s not just about the positions he can play, but the versatility he will give us in attack and defense. He is a man of great qualities and character, and I am glad that everyone made a great effort to bring Alexander to the club.
I know him very well, he is an outstanding footballer. He will help our team become even more militant. Zinchenko is able to play both in defense and in midfield. At the beginning of his career, he was a typical “ten”, and we at Man City turned him into a left-back who could do a lot of what our style requires. This versatility will be very important to our team. It is important to act unpredictably and that is why we are recruiting versatile players,” said Arteta.
Alexander Zinchenko and Mikel Arteta
In turn, Zinchenko noted the importance of the personality of the head coach during the transfer.
“Arteta played the most important role in my decision because I have known Mister for a while. The way we worked together at City impressed me a lot. I remember how many times we worked hard in training, and then right after, individually. I took a lot from the coach and I hope I can take even more.
From the first day at City, I knew that Arteta would be a very good head coach. I watched Arsenal’s games last season and enjoyed it a lot. You can see his style, the picture of the game, and I would like to see this while playing for Arsenal and be involved, ”said Zinchenko.
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There is a foundation for fruitful cooperation. Arteta is not the only Arsenal representative Zinchenko knows from Manchester City. Earlier, the “citizens” sold striker Gabriel Jesus to London for € 52 million.
Alexander Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus
Photo: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
Zinchenko will play several positions at Arsenal
In City, Zinchenko played the role of a left back, in the Ukrainian national team he played in the center of the field. Arsenal will give him the opportunity to prove himself in both roles. Zinchenko is a station wagon by analogy with Granite Xhaka. He gravitates towards the left semi-flank, if necessary, will play the classic “top ten”. Everything will depend on the personnel situation at Arsenal at a particular point in time. Arteta after the transition of Alexander gets a lot of variability.
Playing in midfield for the club is a new challenge for Alexander, but defensive duties will also have to be performed from time to time. The left-back position was very problematic at Arsenal last season. The main option Kieran Tierney is prone to injury. I had to use Bruno Tavares, Cedric Suares and sometimes even Granit Xhaka in this capacity. All options cannot be called reliable. Tavares lacks defensive skills. Soares is right-handed on the left flank. Xhaka was forced to move to the defense, he is noticeably more effective in the center of the field.
Zinchenko is a cool solution for Arsenal in terms of versatility and tactical flexibility. Alexander is practically not injured (especially when compared with Tierney), he is ready to adapt to the needs of the team and is highly efficient.
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Zinchenko moves to a team that is going to take revenge for recent failures
Arsenal outpaced Bayern in terms of investment in new players in the off-season following Alexander’s move. The expenses of the London club exceeded €130 million (Gabriel Jesus – €52.2 million, Fabio Vieira and Zinchenko – €35 million each, Matt Turner – €6.4 million, Marquinhos Oliveira – €3.5 million).
Arsenal had excellent chances to get into the Champions League, but limply leaked the end of the last season of the Premier League and let Tottenham go ahead. Now the club is set for revenge. Arteta, 40, has had a bitter but valuable experience. The team is investing heavily in strengthening the squad. Londoners will be one of the main contenders for victory in the Europa League and a clear contender for the top 4 in the Premier League.
Jesus is an underrated striker who, after moving from City, could join the race of top scorers in the English Championship. Vieira is a strong playmaker. Zinchenko is a high-quality station wagon for an affordable price by today’s standards. City champion team player who, after coming on as a substitute, provided an assist in the title decider against Aston Villa (3-2) last season and won 10 trophies overall under Guardiola.
Oleksandr Zinchenko in Arsenal uniform
For all newcomers, Arsenal avoided overpayment. Initially, the team wanted to take Lisandro Martinez from Ajax, but in the end lost the player to Manchester United, who paid € 54 + 10 million. It remains to be seen how the Argentine will prove himself in England. It is possible that Lisandro will be the next failure of United. Zinchenko, on the contrary, is well acquainted with English football. His transition is beneficial to all parties. The benefits for Arsenal are obvious and described above. And for City, Alexander became the most profitable sale in the era of Guardiola – plus € 33 million (bought for € 2 million from Ufa, sold to Arsenal for € 35 million). Kelechi Iheanacho (resale profit €26.6m), Ferran Torres (€21.5m), Gabriel Jesus (€20.2m), Braim Diaz (€16.65m) are far behind.
Arsenal have not yet completed the package. Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta is one of the club’s targets. Other acquisitions are not excluded. It will be very interesting to watch the Arteta team next season.