How can Arsenal fix their left-back dilemma next season?

Should Arsenal consider selling Zinchenko?

Oleksandr Zinchenko was signed from Man City in the summer of 2022 for €35 million.

In an instant he became an influential figure at the Emirates Stadium, making 33 appearances in all competitions in his debut campaign.

But this season the Ukrainian, on many occasions has looked a shadow of the player of the last season. By many he is considered as the weak point in the Gunners’ backline.

Looking at this size, the former City man is not the most imposing defender in the Premier League. In fact, he is by no means the best in the defensive art. His strength lies when Mikel Arteta’s men are in position and the strings of his team are being pulled by the 27-year-old alongside Declan Rice.

Many would say that he becomes a liability when the Gunners don’t have the ball and the control in the match.

The North London outfit are thought to be considering upgrading on Zinchenko, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.

He told Caught Offside: “As has been reported, I can confirm that it’s a possibility for Arsenal to go for a new left-back in the summer. It’s not guaranteed yet because they still have to hold more meetings to discuss their summer plans, but a new left-back is one of the possibilities for the summer transfer window.

The Italian journalist continued, “There’s also been some speculation about the future of Oleksandr Zinchenko but my understanding is that nothing has been discussed yet with him – the full focus is on the final weeks of the season before that.”

It would really shock me if the left back is moved on this summer. Despite his defensive flaws, the Ukrainian international adds a lot of dynamic to this young Arsenal team.

His good technical skills make sure that the Gunners are fluid, unpredictable and in control when in possession, a trait which is common among the most successful of teams.

If Arsenal really end up exploring the market for a new left-back, would it not be better to welcome back Kieran Tierney? The Scotsman is clearly good enough to play for the club and if Arteta modifies the left back role even to some extent, it can bring out the best in the former Celtic man.

Having Zinchenko and Tierney fight for the same position would be the most economical and ideal situation, which will leave Arsenal with greater funds to upgrade the other positions that need more attention.

Or what about Jurrien Timber in that left back slot? I’ll let you think about it.

Yash Bisht


So here are some simple rules which I must insist commenters follow….

You agree not to give any personal abuse to other Arsenal fans. Everyone is allowed to hold their own opinions even if you disagree with them. It COSTS NOTHING TO BE POLITE TO OTHER ARSENAL FANS.

Tags Fabrizio Timber Zinchenko


    1. Now it seems Mancity were the biggest winner of zinko and jesus deal, as both are expendable at the moment. Jesus fluffing in scoring goals and Zinko fluffing in defending, both are not good at the main task assigned to them. Arteta worked so closely with them and still couldn’t read them, may be same like Antony to Ten Hag. If we get good deal then we shouldn’t think twice to sell them, but in this transfer market getting right price for the second fiddle is very difficult. Zinko particularly is too prone to mistakes with few silly and casual passes which carve us out open. But everything cant be blamed on players as our game plan has been rigid and opponents are reading our game and exploiting us with effect. We lack dynamism in attack and we always struggle versus well organized teams. Unless we change our mindset and gameplan just bringing good player may not be enough to improve.

  1. Buy proper LB… not an inverted this or that, maybe let Tierney get back as I am sure with his way he works he wouldve been more solid than any of the full backs, still to this day regardless of his injuries for the life of me as to why he isn’t with us this season.

    Timber may come back but we still don’t know who or how good he is! He’s a RB also is he not?

    Tomiasyu maybe another along with Eddie, Partey, Nelson who maybe needs to leave. Ramsdale will leave too which isn’t ideal as Raya isn’t much better than Aaron

    If you look at it with Mo, Cedric, Taveres and a few others we have to get rid of alot of players and we need to fix this squad.

    Ramsdale will need replaced
    Partey will need replaced
    Eddie will need replaced plus has to be an upgrade on Jesus, who I would be considering leaving also along with Zinkchenko

    1. Let’s be real.thw only players that arbt sellable are;

  2. Zinchenko didn’t make us lose against Villa, despite his big mistake in the back which went unpunished

    The inverted-LB isn’t a problem since we’ve got Zinchenko, Timber and Tomiyasu for that role

    Our biggest problem is the lack of physically-dominant CF

    1. What on earth are you talking about? Playing Zinchenko at LB means he has to undertake defensive duties as a cog in the back four.Time and time again he has proved to be clueless defensively his last gaff being against Villa when he failed to pick up Bailey.He is a liability and Tomi,as was proved last night and Timber, who is a right footed RB or right central defender, are limited going forward on the left flank because neither can cross a ball with their left foot.We need a quality left footed left back but it won’t be Tierney because to bring him back, would, to Arteta, be an admission that he got things wrong, and he is just not the type of person who will concede his personal failings.

      1. Tierney has played 14 games this season in total due to injuries. I think Arteta got that one right to be honest.

      2. Head and a brick wall Grandad?

        Zinchenko, Tomiyasu and Timber have ALL been injured this season, yet the emphasis is always on Tierney’s problems and he’s our ONLY natural left footed defender.

      3. Aston Villa didn’t score from Zinchenko’s mistake

        Joao Cancelo, Spinazzola and Douglas Luiz don’t need to cross with their left foot, because they can make trivela crosses

        I believe Timber/ Tomiyasu were expected to do that cross type and shoot more often with their right foot from the inverted-LB position

        1. A domiminant cf
          So havertz is no longer dominate?
          And why did all the villa threats came from the left and eventually their goal, why was Bailey free, who was supposed to cover that area of the pitch, Zinchenko is a free style footballer and lacks positional awareness
          We have been defensively strong but once he is in the line-up there is always panic and mistakes at the back, do you think that’s a coincidence?

    2. Well said@ Gai
      Even Arsenal legend HThierry agrees that we need a Clinical and dominant CF.
      We indeed have options for Left back if we don’t want to use Zichenko but scoring goals is what Arsenal lacks in big games.
      We can’t keep depending on wide players alone to score goals.
      Against Bayern away, and then Aston Villa first half we didn’t take our chances. Our opponent had less chances and scored. Once teams doubluo on our wingers we have issue scoring.

      1. Arsenal couldn’t maximize their chances in half-spaces

        Havertz and Odegaard penetrated the opposition with their off-the-ball runs in those half-space areas, but they couldn’t produce anything there

  3. Ramsdale, Zinchenko,, Partey, Nelson, Nkeitah and Jesus should all be placed on the transfer list. Ideally loan out Viera and ESR however i would sell at the right price.
    Bring in Neto or Williams for the flanks and add a solid cm so we don’t ever have to see Rice in an advanced position.
    Raya White Gabriel Saliba White Rice Odegaard Barella/Paqueata Neto/Sane/Williams Saka Havertz.

    Reassign Martinelli to cf so we have the option to play on the counter if required. Ideally bring in another cf but we aint city and cant afford to bring in 3 top class additions.

        1. Ermmm, he’s rubbish? Not Arsenal standard,. Goes missing in games, like really missing….no pace, like against Villa had clean run at goal and let two defenders catch him up and eased his weak ass off the ball. Keeps diving….I could go on but don’t have all day. CMON, tell me he’s worth 270 a wk and make me laugh.

          1. He’s not worth 270 grand a week and he’s wasn’t a player I wanted in the first place. He was awful at left 8 and had a poor first half of the season. However since he got moved to 9 he’s outperformed all the forward players bar Saka. If Havertz isn’t Arsenal standards then you have had to sell all 90% of the forward line. Finally we know he’s not quick and neither Jesus or Trossard would have done anything with the chance either. I don’t even think haland would have helped us against Munich because we created next to nothing.

            1. MAN, LIAM ,spare us,I CONSIDER EDDIE better than a lazy Harvetz please give us a break, I can bet Eddie can score more goals than Harvetz if he gets the support this BIG GERMAN gets from team mates and the manager.

  4. Cancelo were brilliant vs PSG. He ruined the game completely for Braca. One of the worst defenders in pro football. Why do you think Pep send him away?

  5. You don’t have to be an imposing figure to be a good full back. Ashley Cole for instance

    Regarding Zinchenko, you have to ask yourself why Pep let him go and that includes Jesus who, with all his talent has never been a good finisher.

  6. agree Zinc is a defensive weakness, targeted by opponents

    his attacking contributions with the ball are not up much this season either – I can’t remember a single goal or assist

    he is not good enough to be pure progressive midfielder, many in our squad (e.g. ESR) and youth (e.g. Nwenari) better equipped

    quite frankly Zinc and the whole ‘inverted full back’ has been found out and nullified by opposition

    Tierney’s days at Arsenal are clearly over

    sadly time to get rid and some money to bolster the rest of the squad

    1. I entirely agree with your comments.Fine player that he is, Tierney is decidedly injury prone and should be moved on.

  7. Stop playing this inverted sh!+ and false crap. Play with wingers on the correct wings, buy a proper striker and stop playing slow possession football. We are getting found out and Arteta cant do anything to stop it.

  8. We do not need another left back, we’ve got Timber, Tomiyasu, Kiwior and Zinchenko in that order and Zinchenko is the only dispensable one in my opinion.

    1. Imaging if he takes Villa to the final and wins it. Would u have even a ting of regret. Google says he has 9 cups under his belt with PSG, Savlilla?

      1. This Ars squad requires serious characters, little boys don’t win trophies… Bayern showed Ars what it takes to be in the UCL. The midfield was so weak and the frontline dead. Saka, as opened is just an average player in big games. He was a reminder to MA that he needs to get better option and more imposing figure. This current squad cant win any serious trophy and so sadly, easily predictable. For me, the following positions need upgrade and alternatives to be able to close the gap with the likes of Man City: CF, AM, RW, DF, CM… The inconsistency is too much. Why not spend the cash on Viktor Gyökeres, bring in the Newcastle bad guy Guimeres as Rice can’t cope with physicalities. Havertz will continously fail to match the current standard expected of Ars or any serious football team.

  9. Oleks along with Gabi “struggles” this season is linked to this season being our title winning season, they will return or in fact out grow what they were to us earlier last season. Just have to maintain their humility, they can’t boast of “bringing title winning mentality” to the team. ONE MAN is responsible for that, and he goes by the name Mikel Arteta!

    1. That said, i’m sure Gabi and Oleks are very much part of our plans, two more years at least, if not long term.

  10. Timber is the logical choice! In the few games he played, he convinced me that he is just as good as left back as in any other position in defence. He is a similar player to Zinchenko but a better defender. So easily the best pick for next season. In my opinion, Tierny is not good enough in Artetas style of football.

    1. Timber is not a LB. He played LB for us in 2 matches..? And for Ajax he played 99% of his matches as RB or CB. You can’t trust a player playing there the whole season..

      I think Zinchenko has been fine for us, but we can do better. He still has resale value and I think we should move on from him. Anything from £30 to £40 million could be salvaged from the sale.

      Who to replace him? An interesting one for sure. I’ve followed a couple of LB’s lately. Kadioglu and Gutierrez seem solid, after we were linked with them.

      Has anyone seen Leif Davis play for Ipswich? 6 feet tall Englishman scored 3 and assisted 14 last season in the League One. This season in the Championship he’s scored 2 and assisted 17! That is an insane amount for a fullback.

      1. I have watched Davis on a number of occasions and while he is very good going forward he is not too reliable defensively.Robinson of Fulham is a very athletic left back who is a good all round player who never seems to be injured.This is a vital ingredient to consider before we recruit any player these days.

  11. I can’t believe how the inverted fullback disciples have learned nothing and delude themselves over the merits of Tomi, Kiwior, and Timber who they know nothing about. Why do they think Martinelli and Trossard can be so poor and easily marked. Duh! No support coming from the flanks perhaps?

  12. GJ and Zin provided the spark that Arsenal needed to become the competitive football club we’ve seen last season and this current one. However both players have consistently faltered in their primary roles; GJ in scoring goals and Zin in defending against wingers. They are no longer reliable and are fast becoming liabilities. Perhaps positional change should be considered by Arteta; move GJ to left attacking midfield to play alongside Odegaard, then move Zin to the midfield to play as a CM or DM. GJ has the dribbling skills, resilience and ability to drag markers, thereby creating pocket of spaces for a lethal finisher( which we should hopefully acquire this summer). Zin in the CM can give incisive passes from deep, link up with Odegaard or GJ more easily and also contribute to the defending without being exposed, potentially avoiding 1 v 1’s that he is terrible at.

  13. L.Digne,A.Moreno for villa.Natural left backs.We lost.
    A.Davis,N.Mazzroui,R.Guerrero for bayern.We lost.
    Emerson,A.Creswell for Westham.We lost.
    I have never understood why Arteta for the last 4years has never considered signing a natural L.b for Arsenal.The left side of our team is the weakest link overall. We won’t go far if this isn’t addressed.

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