Arsenal have officially completed a move for Manchester City full back Oleksandr Zinchenko in a move that will send the Ukranian defender to North London €30 million.
Zinchenko has been at City since 2016 when he joined the club from Russian side FK Ufa, who now play in the Russian second division.
In that time he 127 appearances in Sky Blue, which also featured a year long loan spell out to Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven in 2017 where he made a further 17 appearances for the first team.
During his time with City, Zinchenko featured frequently on the reserves squad where he was under the tutelage of current Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and it was no secret that Pep Guardiola’s former assistant has wanted the Ukranian to come to Arsenal since he was hired by the Gunners in late 2019.
Zinchenko is one of the most versatile players around, as he can slot in as a left sided full-back (which is his natural position by trade) but he can also fit in a central midfield role and could even be pushed higher up the pitch to a number 10 position which he frequents while playing for the Ukranian National Team.
The 25 year old adds great fluidity on the backline while also carrying the ball up the pitch with his quick feet and intricate passes, both of which were sorely lacking from Arteta’s Arsenal side last season.
With the addition Arsenal now have the likes of Kieran Tierney and the young Nuno Tavares that can play left-back, but after an injury plagued campaign for Tierney and a seemingly error prone Tavares, solidifying that position was something sorely needed for a side looking to qualify for the UCL this season.
As mentioned before, not only can Zinchenko play on defence, but his elegant footwork and superb vision also makes him stand out in the midfield and with Arsenal adding some creativity into a midfield which frankly is lacking in that department will certainly help improve the side.
This would leave Zinchenko to compete with Arsenal’s current number 8 in Granit Xhaka for a starting berth, while also featuring a side which could contain Zinchenko alongside former Real Madrid wonderkid Martin Odegaard pushing the ball up higher and the likes of the afformentioned Xhaka or Thomas Partey playing in a deeper position.
For a relatively low cost of only €30 million for a player who can impact the pace of play on the pitch in so many aspects and one with a sense of familiarity to the manager, this might in turn become one of Arsenal’s shrewdest signings in recent memory.