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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