Arsenals Last 10 Captains
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Arsenal have been offered hope in their pursuit of Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko, with Pep Guardiola’s side unlikely to block a potential move for the Ukraine star. Zinchenko featured as Ukraine’s World Cup hopes were ended in their 1-0 play-off defeat to Wales on Sunday, and has been linked with a move to Arsenal and West Ham.
The London Evening Standard claims that Manchester City are “unlikely to stand in his way if he demands a move”, as the 25-year-old may seek more game time away from the Etihad Stadium, after starting just ten Premier League games this season.
Arsenal are rumoured to be offering the Ukraine star a role in midfield, where he shone for his country in their 3-1 win away to Scotland, while West Ham are reportedly looking for another left-back to provide competition for Aaron Cresswell. Zinchenko previously said that he would decide his future after international duty, and now following Ukraine’s defeat in Cardiff he has a decision to make on his future.
An own goal by outgoing West Ham winger Andriy Yarmolenko was the difference in Cardiff, as Ukraine’s hopes of providing a boost for their country amid the ongoing invasion by Russia ended. After the game, Zinchenko said: “Every one of us gave everything today, we left everything on the pitch. In general I don’t think we deserved to lose, but that’s football, it happens.
“Football is about emotions, we can bring some great emotions to our fans, but unfortunately today we didn’t get the result we wanted.
“Everyone needs to continue to fight, as footballers we need to represent our country as best we can. Everyone needs to live in peace and we need to stop the war altogether. Today it’s Ukraine, but who knows tomorrow? We need to stay together.”
Zinchenko has been at Manchester City since 2016 after signing from FC Ufa and has largely played at left-back, despite his preferred position being in midfield. His manager Guardiola agrees, despite rarely featuring him in the middle of the pitch. In April he said: “In the position that we have in the midfield, in the pockets as the attacking midfielder.
“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.”
Arsenal will be looking to expand their squad size this summer and having Zinchenko, who can play in both midfield and left-back, would provide cover in two crucial areas that Mikel Arteta’s side struggled with in the second half of the season. The Gunners were in impressive form until injuries to Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney, and competing in Europe next season will ensure more rotation to the Spaniard’s squad.
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