Kevin De Bruyne can’t praise Zinchenko enough after Ukraine draw with Begium

Despite all of the criticism, Oleksander Zinchenko, the £30 million 2022 recruit, is a decent player. In his debut season as a Gunner, in the 2022–23 season, the Ukrainian international and Gabriel Jesus provided Arsenal with the much-needed push to fight for the league title.

It is odd that before he and Jesus joined Arsenal, they had yet to break into the top four. However, Zinchenko was the most important player in the famed inverted fullback role, as he was the one who made the tactic work by converting from fullback to midfield. Last season, he wasn’t fortunate enough to excel in the role; without Xhaka to help him out on the left side, he was left exposed, wasn’t always quick enough to track back and cover the leftback, and didn’t win the majority of his duels.

A disappointing season saw the ex-Manchester City player linked with a move away from Arsenal, but after Bayern Munich (his alleged main suitors) purportedly pulled out of the race, no one has moved forward to try to sign him, and he may not go. If he doesn’t leave, Arsenal can rest assured that they still have a decent player in him, at least after Kevin De Bruyne confessed to the media how highly he regards our left back, praising his performances at Arsenal despite criticism.

“I love Zinna [Oleksandr Zinchenko]. Zinna is [an] unbelievable guy,” De Bruyne told the media on Wednesday after the goalless draw between Ukraine and Belgium in Stuttgart.

“I played with him for five years and he’s done an incredible job for us at City and then he went to Arsenal and he’s doing really good.

“I think he’s one of the leaders of Ukraine, he’s a close friend and I wish him all the best.”

Given De Bruyne’s endorsement, I think we should give Zinchenko another opportunity at Emirates Stadium. Who knows? He might rediscover his form as an overlapping fullback or perhaps earn a chance in midfield.

Having him as a backup at left back would be beneficial, especially considering the possibility of Kiwior’s departure.

Peter Rix


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2 Comments

  1. I think he could do a Rosisky type job in midfield by carrying the ball forward for Arsenal as that is also his best position for his country.

    1. He plays left back for Ukraine i have no idea where you got that from. Started at left back for the first two games and came on for Mykolenko in the third

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