Arsenal’s bid to sign Oleksandr Zinchenko as a midfielder isn’t actually as surprising as it seems. That’s because Pep Guardiola has already explained that he’s an attacking player who covers the full-back areas as opposed to the other way round.
The Gunners are reportedly considering the double swoop of Manchester City stars Gabriel Jesus and now Zinchenko. As previously reported, the Gunners will target two centre-forwards. football.londonunderstands that City striker Jesus and Roma frontman Tammy Abraham are among the shortlisted profiles who could arrive at Emirates Stadium.
Jesus, in particular, remains open to leaving the current Premier League champions, with his representative reportedly holding talks with Edu throughout the past few months.
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Arsenal first made an approach for Jesus in November, with Edu maintaining a close relationship with the player’s agent and the City forward himself. There have been suggestions that Tottenham are also interested, although the Gunners are thought to have the upper hand in that particular battle, despite the fact Spurs qualified for the Champions League ahead of Arteta’s side.
Arteta wants to sign Jesus’ teammate Zinchenko as a midfield option. That’s according to the Daily Mail, who say that the 25-year-old is viewed primarily as an asset to bolster the middle of the park who could be utilised at left-back when required.
Zinchenko has spent much of his time under Guardiola in defence. Nevertheless, speaking in April to Man City’s media team, he admitted that the Ukrainian is actually a midfielder: “In the position that we have in the midfield, in the pockets as the attacking midfielder,” he said.
“That is his position, definitely. When we bought Oleks for £2million from Ukraine, he was a No.10 – a Phil Foden position, a creative player – but we didn’t have a left-back for many years.
“Fabian Delph adapted incredibly well in that position and Oleks as well. That’s happened because he is well-educated, he knows exactly what it means. He adapted and said: ‘Okay, what does the team need? I’m going to do it.'”
Given Arsenal’s issues with depth in both the midfield and in the full-back areas last season, it’s obvious why Arteta wants him. Plus, as a four-time Premier League champion at just the age of 25, he would bring a wealth of experience to a young side, whilst he also still has his prime years ahead of him. If Edu and co can get a deal over the line, it would ultimately be a smart move.
Source by Football London