Is Oleks Zinchenko Arsenal’s signing of the season?

After a disappointing 2021-22 league season, Mikel Arteta was forced to rethink his Arsenal project, which s deemed doomed by the fact that the Gunners blew a clear chance to return to Champions League football after 5 years away. One of Arteta’s resolutions was to focus not only on signing the promising prospects he has been signing since taking over, but also on signing some experienced players to add some extra quality to his squad.

When it came to acquiring these experienced players, Arteta chose to go after two of Manchester City’s underappreciated stars, Oleksander Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus, from his former club. We could spend the entire day discussing how brilliant Jesus has been, so let us instead marvel at how brilliant Zinchenko has been.

Many people did not expect much from Zinchenko’s move to Arsenal because they saw him as a mere left-back; how could a left-back change the dynamics of a team? Fast forward that left-back has been so revolutionary that rival managers are talking about how influential he is.

The Oxford manager Karl Robinson saw his team lose 3-0 to Arsenal in the FA Cup, but instead of moping, he took some time to praise Zinchenko.

“If Zinchenko plays he is far more comfortable coming inside and they are a completely different team,” said Robinson, as per the Telegraph.

“But obviously regardless of who plays they are good. [Zinchenko] is such a good player. They are very good, they are also off-the-cuff.”

I know it’s controversial, but could Zinchenko be the Gunners’ signing of the season so far this season?

Daniel O

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34 Comments

  1. Hi is a fabulous signing. His vision and passing ability is outstanding.
    The best is to come from him.

  2. He’s been very good ,but he’s missed alot of games so to ask that question it is seems abit premature same goes for Jesus now .

      1. It’s not just about defending ,it’s about the system we play when he’s in the side and a system that as us top of the league ,KT himself is not great at defending ,he’s more of an old school LB that likes to get up the pitch which takes away from Martinellis game ,it’s the same with Tomi on the other side ,we now look more compact with the white in that position .

        1. And he as been playing Xhakas old position as he drifts into the middle which allows Xhaka to move more uptop in turn cutting out his mistakes .

        2. Exactly – I’d add that we tend to dominate to a far greater extent when zinchenko plays, containing the play higher I up the pitch, so the defensive side becomes less of an issue.

  3. I really wish people would stop saying that we “blew” a chance at CL football last season.

    Two of the last 3 games were away games vs Newcastle and Spurs. Any team could lose those two games and most of the people talking about “blowing it” at the time had failed to notice just how good Newcastle had become.

    Add to that the other issues – injuries, playing those rearranged fixtures when we faced those two at their strongest (post-Bruce in the case of Newcastle), fixture congestion, terrible penalty and sending off decision etc… it was a long way from “blowing it” to my mind. There was a very large slice of bad luck in various forms.

    1. Sorry IDKWIC, but we ABSOLUTELY blew it!!

      The tactics were wrong, the player selections were wrong and “fixture congestion “!?!?

      If we hadn’t called off the spud game earlier in the season, we wouldn’t have had that scenario.

      If the club had invested in the January window and not let players leave before finding replacements, we would not have been in such a position.

      The sending off of Holding was so obviously going to happen and your surely not questioning that as well are you?

      The positive thing for me, is that MA has learnt from the debacle of those final games and, it seems, is trying to get more players in.

      1. Tell us how d tactics was wrong, who was supposed to play dat day.

        we were worst when we called of the spurs as we had not many first team players available

        U pple kip saying; if arsenal had invested in January, on which player? vlahovic didn’t workout, Arteta an edu has said they are not going to buy just anybody but a player who can improve us. We also went for jesus in January but mancity were nt ready to let him go.

        1. You will find that people are more interested in a negative narrative than reasoned analysis of the circumstances. Hence the ridiculous assertions that we should have bought this or that player as if it is as simple as picking things from a supermarket shelf.

          1. You will also find that people are more interested in simping over Arteta and continuing to make silly comments and excuses to hide his short comings .

          2. Personally, I didn’t think the problem lay in not signing a player in January

            We had top4 in or hands and refused st the final hurdle

    2. I take your point that Newcastle had improved. If SB had still been managing there then, losing would have been a travesty. The trouble is though, we were in a fantastic place to take 4th place and disappointingly failed to do so. I feel it was a self inflicted wound. I expect more this year in terms of mentality.

    3. Wrong IDKWIC! Arteta blew our chance at CL football last season. That’s on him and he knows, just like the preceding loss to Brighton at home is on him. Painful lessons he seems to have learned from.

      1. Is he not the same coach that took us to 4th b4 we drop out. Or Are you the one that took us to 4th and handed the team to him?

    4. It’s not just the results, we rolled over against Newcastle and, much as I hate to say it, holding threw the game away against spurs (and we didn’t put up much resistance with 10 either).
      There’s no great shame in losing two close-fought games against tough sides, but you’ve got to go down fighting, and we didn’t.

    5. @IDKWI
      The thing is, we did in fact have Top in our own control and missed it.
      But in the larger picture it doesn’t matter much.
      1) We weren’t ready to compete in the CL as well this season
      2) Our long term project was not dependent on a short term return to CL football, which is why, it didn’t have any consequence for Arteta. The plan was on track
      3) As it happens, it didn’t prevent us from getting the players we were after in the summer transfer window
      4) It could have given more revenue, but the owners seem determined to allow spending on our project anyway
      All in all, missing top 4 was mainly a big issue for those who wanted Arteta out at the time, whereas it has turned out maybe to be a blessing in disguise for this season.

  4. Zinchenko and Odegaard are high intelligence players. They bring intelligence into Arsenal football. Zinchenko is so on the ball…in many ways. That does not invalidate our need for players in this January window. We are thin on the ‘depth of squad’ scale.

  5. Agreed. He adds a lot of leadership and his passing range is excellent. For me though he is sometimes a liability when he plays at left-back. I understand it is part of the tactical set-up but his consistently drifting into that deep-lying playmaker role leaves Martinelli stranded with no support and a huge hole behind him.

    He has always been clear he prefers playing in midfield and I think that is where we will get the best out of him. Tierney is a better full-back, as is Tomiyasu. So maybe we could use him interchangeably with Xhaka. That way he stays happy, Xhaka has cover, and it gives Tierney and Tomi more game time.

    1. Martineli is not stranded bcos when chenko move to midfield, Xhaka will join martineli up front. That’s d tactics, chenko dnt just decide to go to midfield is what d coach ask him to do

  6. In as much as Zinchenko is top quality who Arsenal have signed last summer window. But it’s pertinent to take into considerations to note that other tops in Gabriel Jesus and fabio Vieira were equally signed by Arsenal last summer.
    And the signed trio have shown their mettle in high standard of playing and performance for Arsenal in all matches this season.
    Which has seen Arsenal at the top of the Epl table after playing 16 matches. And have qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League Cup competition as group keaders. And as well have reached the FA Cup 4th rpunf competition.
    So, it’s kudos to those 3 guys of Arsenal for their quality contributions toward the success of the team so far into the campaign this season.
    So therefore the trio signings of f Vieira, G Jesus and A Zinchenko are signings of Arsenal’s season signing. But of last summer.
    We are in the winter window now this season. And as being expected, Arsenal could do 2 new marquee signings of a forward and holdding midfielder this winter.
    Which after their general impact in the campaign. All the new signings by Arsenal across 2 windows have had that impacted title wins for the club this season would us know which new player signed by Arsenal this season, is Arsenal signing of the season.

  7. Can someone let me know Zinchenkos win percentage? I think it may have even gone up since joining Arsenal !

  8. Omg how funny seeing Felix sent off for Chelsea. 3 games missed. Hahaha at Chelsea. Hope your new chant against the arsenal comes back and bites u in the arse. Scumbags!!!!

  9. In my opinion the single most effective thing why we lost top four last season was the lock of SHEER METAL STRENGTH.

    Wenger use to stress the importance of mental strength so much during his earlier years at Arsenal.

  10. Ben White being a capable defender is crucial to Zinchenko’s freedom. Gabriel and White do almost have two roles to play as does Zinchenko

  11. I’ve seen Oleksandr Zinchenko play and I can’t never find the right words to describe him. There are and were plenty of players excelled playing out of position or many positions at once. But Zinchenko is unique. He is not swashbuckling like the great Dani Alves. He is not an attacking demon like King Henry. Definitely not as marvellous as the legendary Ruud Gullit in different position. Definitely not as complete or refined as his most similar Joao Cancelo. Not the best in defending or attacking. Nor the best in physical or technical department. But for me, he is the best inverted fullback in the world for the precise reason of him being very good at everything. The Arsenal team always, I mean always feel like having an extra man in midfield with him at leftback. His positional and tactical awareness combined with his ice-cool approach with his Jack-of-all-Trades attribute completes Zinchenko as we see him play today and dominates at an unlikely position. From what I’ve heard, his humility and outstanding human value really rub off on Mikel Arteta and the rest of the players. Just look at Odegaard, Xhaka, White and Gabriel. Their technical ability and composure have improved a lot.

    1. Well said! I wonder at the people making ludicrous claims about how terrible he is at defending. Question is how many goals have we shipped with the wizard of OZ at left back? Very few, and we rarely get caught out with counter attacks these days despite playing so high up the pitch. In his role, OZ aims to stop play high up the pitch which he consistently does. I have not seen him being run ragged by any winger, so I don’t quite understand why people are making him seem like a clueless defender. More importantly, what he brings to the table transcends any defensive contribution people expect. With him, we have so much control on the ball that defensive situations don’t materialize very often.

  12. Zinchenko is certainly a good signing and has improved the team in more ways than one. Apart from his game, it is his experience and winning mentality that gets transferred to the other players which is vital. He along with Jesus have totally changed the way Arsenal approach games.

  13. He gives Arteta options; tactical and from a positional sense. A good player who can play different positions and can also change a game as we have seen this year.

    Arteta has utilized him well, but jury is still out about replacing Tierney at LB. Half a season isn’t enough to base a long term decision on, and I think rotating starts between those two keeps both healthy and sharp.

    Zinchenko himself prefers the midfield and IMHO I hope to see him rotate more with Xhaka.

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