Bringing in Zinchenko has proven to be a masterful piece of business from Arteta and Edu. But whilst I am an admirer of what he brings to the team I am not blind to his limitations. I cannot imagine too many Arsenal fans arguing with the notion that Kieran Tierney is a better defender.
For all Zinchenko’s positives, he does get caught out when at the back, either from lack of pace or questionable decision making. Additionally to this, Zinchenko drifts into his preferred position alongside Partey.
This may well be an instruction from Arteta, but it certainly suits his game. He looks more comfortable there and pulls the strings. The problem with him drifting into that position is that it leaves Martinelli completely exposed out on the flank. I think this can explain his drop-off in goal involvements. Take Jesus out of the team and he is left high and dry.
I think using Zinchenko as an alternative to Xhaka could get the best out of our squad. Tomiyasu has looked good at left-back when he has played there and he is usually steady when it comes to defending. It would free Martinelli up to stay further up the pitch and not have to track back so far.
By making this little change suddenly our squad is transformed. Zinchenko gets to play a position he prefers and is better at, Xhaka has excellent cover, Martinelli gets support going forward, Tomiyasu gets to play more, etc.,
Hey, even Nuno Tavares could get another look in. No doubt he has a lot to offer in an attacking sense and if Zinchenko were playing inside he could cover the left-back position when Tierney/Tomi/Nuno go forward.
This squad has so much potential. Arteta and Edu have assembled a good bunch of versatile promising players that have a shot at winning the league for Arsenal for the first time in 20 years.
And they are only just getting started…
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