- Colin Cranmer
Arsenal interested in Oleksandr Zinchenko as player seeks regular game time
Oleksandr Zinchenko has done everything in his power to stay at Manchester City and fight for his place at the club in the past, but it seems now the time has come where the Ukrainian may seek pastures new in search for regular time on the pitch.
Oleksandr Zinchenko played a pivotal role in Manchester City winning the Premier League title in the (second) most dramatic fashion ever against Aston Villa on the final game of the season - the left-back on the day came on for Fernandinho at half-time with City trailing; injected pace, upped the intensity and most importantly he showcased his quality as he set up Rodri for the blues' equalizer from 2-0 down, with City going on to win the game 3-2, and Zinchenko picking up his fourth Premier League winners' medal.
For the most part last season - as on that substitute appearance against Aston Villa - Oleksandr Zinchenko has only seen himself in the City team due to absentees elsewhere. Fernandinho started at centre-back and John Stones at right-back that day; Fernandinho, who wasn't at the races, brought off at half-time on his final blues' appearance, John Stones moved to centre-back, Cancelo on the right and Zinchenko coming on at left-back - and despite all those changes to accommodate his place in the team, midfield is his natural position and where he plays internationally for his beloved home nation of Ukraine.
First reported by Jack Gaughan of the Mail and now backed up by Manchester Evening News reporter Simon Bajkowski, former City coach Mikel Arteta is a big fan and is willing to offer the game-time and position preference that Zinchenko is seeking. Arsenal's interest in Gabriel Jesus has been very clear and now so is their interest in his City team-mate Oleksandr Zinchenko.
The bond between Manchester City, its people, and Oleksandr Zinchenko could not be stronger - after recent atrocities in Ukraine, City have been united and unrelenting in their support for Ukraine and their player. So much so that the player, who was given the armband against Peterborough this season, has been brought to tears on multiple occasions this season and has stated that he "would die" for Manchester City and their supporters for their support of him and his country.
So, it is no wonder that City do not want to let go of a player and a person that they value so much. But in this case the player's interests may outweigh all and there is no doubt that although City's will is to keep the twenty five year old, they would not stand in his way if he is to take up Arsenal's interest and move on from the club for quite evidently purely footballing reasons.
Written by: @coIgcra
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