Why Zinchenko is perfect for Arsenal

Zinchenko by Peter Doherty
Arsenal have finally accepted defeat in their pursuit of Lisandro Martinez as Man United look to have secured a deal for the Argentinian for 45 million.
This is a potential stroke of luck on our part. The risk in paying such a substantial sum of money for a player who excels in a league on a lower level is frequently exposed. Arsenal getting caught for 72 million for Pepe is as good as an example as possible required to highlight the inherent gamble.
  But Pepe is far from isolated. The step up in competition is frequently one that many players fail to bridge. The intensity of the Premier League is what marks it out as being a completely different challenge to other leagues, even including La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A. Frequently players can’t adapt to the change of pace and the constant demand of the Premier League.
However, our need to buy a versatile left sided defensive player who can also revert effectively to midfield remains. And that is where our previously reported link to Zinchenko should hopefully resurface. This is a player who has operated seamlessly in the most successful club in the premiership over the past five years.
His profile almost mirrors Gabriel Jesus in the respect that he wasn’t the central figure in their formation but was consistently excellent when required. Like Jesus his willingness to accept the need of the greater good as being above personal frustrations is a very positive reflection of his attitude.
Zinchenko very rarely did anything deserving of demotion from the first team, and when it came there was no remonstrations. He just got on with it. That approach is not only commendable but it suggests that if a manager shows greater faith he could tease better performances out of him as his commitment is beyond question.
Zinchenko is technically superb. His passing stats are outstanding, but their true value is more evident when watching him play and witnessing the quality of his decision making when making those passes. He plays as a defensive left sided midfielder in the Ukrainian national team with very good effectiveness.
When he deputises for Cancelo at Man City there is no discernible drop in standard, and Cancelo is rightly considered the best left back in the world.
Zinchenko offers all the qualities that we were looking for in Martinez but with the very important caveat that he has proven himself consistently in the Premier League.
That’s the lot.

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Tags Oleksandr Zinchenko


  1. If we get him and a proper DM then I’d say the window has been quite successful.

    I really hope the team is focusing on improving fitness massively.

    1. I really like the idea of either White or Saliba as the new DM….both quick and good defenders as well as good distributors

      So why pay £50mn for a new guy when we already potentially have 2 options !?!?

      Also the two of them and Gabriel can play in a back three with 2 wing backs against certain teams.

  2. He has been playing well in LB and CM positions, so he must have good tactical, timing, decision making, teamwork and dribbling skills. He might be another jack-of-all-trades who isn’t a master of any role, but his experience and positional understanding will be highly valuable for the team

    He has also worked with Arteta and Jesus for several years, so I think he won’t need a long time to adapt to Arteta’s tactics. I predict one of our CMs will have to leave, to accommodate Zinchenko

  3. Zinchenko In, Taraves Loan


    Zinchenko In, Lokonga Loan


    Zinchenko In, Xhaka rested/benched in some games. We all know Xhaka ain’t going nowhere and He is still in Arteta plan except something happens…

    We play many games this season and remember playing on Thurs and then weekend ain’t easy so we need fit players and all the arsenal we win this season..

    1. Find it hard to imagine we’re getting zinchenko and he doesn’t walk into our first team. My guess would be as a starting cm, and emergency cover for LB, as xhaka was used last season. It’s a strange one because we’ve been very reluctant to drop xhaka, but i can’t see how else we could convince zinchenko to join – unless he’s going to start at left wing?

      1. It also feels like the AMN situation, where it seems that zinchenko wants to play as a midfielder despite having success (a lot of success, mind) as a fullback

      2. Doesnt need to be a case of dropping, just a case of rotation and form this season and fully cement the position the following season as Xhaka gets older, whilst being able to rotate at times with Tierney as required. Good move if true.

        1. I think you’re right re rotation but I’d still be surprised if he was happy to be our go to when Tierney is unavailable – just speculating, but my impression is that he wants to play midfield

        2. Age is The least of the problems with xhaka … if zivchenko means relegating that footballing clown to the bench or out the door then it’s fine by me but never really understood where was his best position

          1. You must also be a clown at you working place or you must be the only person holding your company back from making progress.i know you will feel hurt by this that’s how it feels when you come here and bad mouth xhaka bcous you don’t like him who cares because the man who will decide abt that is mikel arteta and he believe 100% in the players unlike you thank god you are not our coach.

            1. Coupled with the fact that the last 3/4 managers we’ve had believed in him, then there must be something they are seeing that other are not

  4. We paid 30m for Tierney who we knew was injury prone. We tried the 8m cheapo with Tavares which has not worked so well. So 34mill on Zinchenko or Martinez is spending good money after bad. But we have no other choice but to suck it up. 72mill Pepe and 45m on Partey don’t look good either and we probably gonna have to spend big to replace Partey. 50m on White and 50 m on Jesus are risks too. But all top 10 PL teams do it. More money than sense comes to mind.

    1. I beg to differ, Tierney is a top top player, sadly plagued by injuries as many players are also injury prone. Tierney is the first decent left back we had since Ashley, the rest I do not know who were the bigger clowns – the players or the one signed them. Nuno is a raw talent, but stepping into Tierney’s boots is a very difficult task. If a 30M+ Mustafi made school boy errors or a 50M Lacazette needed binoculars to spot the goalposts or Mesut needed an ice candy to perform on the pitch, and everyone turned a blind eye to the puppets and the puppeteer, then you are too harsh on Nuno.
      The starting was wrong IMO, we did not miss out on the Ajax lad, we did not want him at that price. Simple! 50M on Ben is a better investment than 50M on Varane. 50M for GJ is pure foresight than that 50M wasted on Laca. 72M Pepe was against the wishes of Unai, a very respected and European winner we had since the legendry George Graham.

      1. And if you are too obsessed with the past to justify Arteta’s inequities and mistakes, then you are too far up his ass to see the reality. What is wrong in you say oh we don’t need Zinchenko as a left back or we don’t need left back at all as Arteta will mould Tavarez into a formidable left back. But you come up with all sort of excuses blaming past managers and condemning our past players because he bought the Tavarez and failed to improve on him.

      2. So Nacho Monreal and Clichy were clowns and nowhere near Tierney’s level as you put it? I love Tierney but come on, you not to stop changing the narrative to make it match your arguments. Someone could present the arguments in the exact opposite manner (when the truth lies in the middle) and argue that pepe was excelling in France and mismanaged here at Arsenal (he never got a decent run of games and outperformed saka in terms of stats 2 seasons ago without being a starter in all games), same with laca who started well but 4 months later auba came and everything changed and NO, Ben white was not worth the 50mil and neither was varane, so two bad transfer moves shouldn’t be compared with each other, but be called for what they are, overpriced.

      3. Clichy was better than Tierney lets not act like Monreal was a striker. Tierney is good let’s not overhype a player that hasn’t completed one season

        1. B ARE YOU SERIOUSLY TRYING TO CLAIMTHAT CALAMITY CLICHY was better than Tierney! Utter nonsense, my misguided friend!

          1. Clichy won multiple titles playing for city. You don’t win titles while starting weak links. Same nonsense was levelled at puyol and valdes when Barca were winning everything. It’s a team sport and the biggest single statistical predictor of any given result is the performance rating of the the two worst players for each team side by side not the two best.

            1. He was the defensive LB option at City, when they needed someone more defensively sound than kolarov. As you say, can’t have been that bad

            2. Angus When I heard that City had paid us £7 mil for the transfer of CALAMITY, I actually leapt in the air and shouted with joy.

              No matter what he may or may have done with City, when he was here he was IMO a regular mistake on legs and he is not a full back whom I have ever remotely rated, when playing for us. That remains my view!

            3. @angus

              fyi Tierney has more trophy at 25 compare to clichy. clichy is a fine no doubt but Tierney is better. Stats don’t lie.

    1. DOubt it…when fit Tierney starts at LB and Zinchenko in the midfield in place of Partey/Xhaka

      1. I think Tierney will spend enough time on the treatment table for Zinc to cement his spot as the starting LB. Do you think if Tavares was the real deal Tierney would be able to get back his spot?

        1. You did not understood tavares signing. He is young and performed way over expectations. He was never planned to dislodge tierney thz first months.

  5. I wonder what took so long for Arsenal to go for him. He should have been wrapped up alongside Jesus imo.

    I’m excited about this more than when Arsenal was linked to Martinez.

    1. It took so long because he wasn’t first choice ,only because Martinez didn’t want to come here we’ve now gone in for zinchenko

      1. That’s exactly what baffled me in the first place, Arsenal going for Martinez over Zinchenko, considering both being great utility players, albeit a slight difference in profile. And Zinchenko having proved himself in the EPL, I wondered what made Arsenal go for a much riskier Martinez, well riskier in terms of how well he would adapt to EPL is yet to be seen. And he would’ve cost a lot more.

        1. Yea I don’t really know much about Martinez so I didn’t really post about him when we was in for him .
          Zincheko I know is solid and prem proven so it’s a no brainier ,I can not see us spending 35 million on him to be a back up though and I doubt that is what he wants also .

          1. I don’t think he will be a back up in our squad. He is technically superior to most players in our midfield, even better than Odegaard imo when it comes to efficiency. And his passing is excellent, he hardly ever loses a ball.

            And what he will bring the most is something our squad lacks terribly and that is intelligent and pin-point crosses, as well as cutbacks. And he also does those De-Bruynesque crosses from midfield into the box quite well, which is also none of our current players are very adept at. Combined with Jesus upfront, he can be deadly in the midfield.

            I really don’t think he will play as backup with all the missing things that he provides. He can replace Tierney soon or someone in the midfield, maybe Xhaka.

  6. Excellent article Peter – not least because I agree with every word. Technically a very very good footballer and because like Jesus, he’s “second string” Man City, vastly underrated. Tactically aware, a team player and equally good as LM or LB. Personally I see him as a LM who can cover for Tierney, not the other way around. Great piece of business at a good price that I think almost all Arsenal fans will endorse.

  7. Our lack of pace and physicality in midfield is a glaring weakness and, with respect to Zinchenko,who is versatile and technically sound , he has neither of these attributes.

  8. I think this team very busy in this transfer window, after landing G Jesus, matt tunner, Fabio Vieira and with maguhios. But will need wingers left back, as backup of Kieran tieany, because of injury

  9. Getting Zinchenko and Youri Tielemanns would make our summer transfer window a very successful one.

    Getting Tielemanns is a no brainer, so I just don’t get why they’re delaying on it.

  10. Refusing to pay a penny more than the amount WE valued MARTINEZ at was sensible.

    And it has worked in our favour, as City apparently want approx £35 mil for Zinchenko, surely a far more valuable AND PREM PROVEN PLAYER,than the overpriced Martinez.

    My real concern was WHY we went after him at all, given that Zinchenko seems available a lower price. Seems to me to have been the wrong priority, which circumstances rather than the correct decision has meant we get a better player than we might have otherwise got.

    All this assumes that we DO get Zinchenko and, as yet , we probably should not assume that at all!

    1. @John, may be when city realised they have gotten a lot of money for the sale of Jesus and Sterling, then they decided to reduce the price of Zichenko and because of good relationship they have with Arsenal concerning transfers but let Chelsea come, his price will be sky rocket….

  11. A quality and adaptable player like Zinchenko is more than welcome – if it actually happens!

  12. He is a strong character and his resolve would pass through the team. Definite top choice. Wow, midfield and full back. Get him now.

  13. To all gooners Zinchenko will play more games than Tierney this season.

    Dosen’t matter where he plays

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