Oleksandr Zinchenko joins Arsenal from Manchester City after £32m deal agreed; Ukrainian won four Premier League titles with Manchester City but only made 15 league appearances last season; Arsenal have already signed Gabriel Jesus from Pep Guardiola's side this summer
Saturday 23 July 2022 08:17, UK
Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City in a £32m deal.
The Gunners have paid £30m up front with £2m in add-ons with the Ukraine international signing a long-term contract at The Emirates.
Zinchenko has already joined up with the Arsenal squad at their pre-season training camp in Orlando, with his squad number to be announced in due course.
Zinchenko spent just over six years at City after joining the club as a teenager from Russian side Ufa.
The 25-year-old, who was coached by Mikel Arteta during the Arsenal manager's spell as assistant to Man City boss Pep Guardiola, can cover a variety of positions, including left-back and central midfield.
It is understood Arteta is excited about the prospect at working with Zinchenko again and values his versatility as a player.
Arsenal had been in the market for a left-sided defender and were trying to sign Manchester United-bound Lisandro Martinez from Ajax, who is set to join United in a £57m deal.
Zinchenko teams up with former City team-mate Gabriel Jesus at Arsenal after the Brazilian left the Etihad to move to north London earlier this month in a £45m deal.
Zinchenko becomes the Gunners' fifth summer signing following the arrivals of Jesus, Marquinhos, Matt Turner and Fabio Vieira.
Following the arrival of Zinchenko, Arteta told the club's official website: "We're so happy Alex has joined us. He's a player that I personally know really well and continued to follow him after my time at Manchester City.
"Alex is a high quality player who will give us options and versatility. It's not only about the positions he can play but as well, the versatility he will give us in attack and defence.
"Alex is a person with great human qualities and character, and I'm delighted that everyone has made this huge effort to bring Alex to the club."
Meanwhile, Arsenal technical director Edu revealed Zinchenko was a "main focus" this summer for the Gunners.
The Brazilian told the club's official website: "I'm very pleased to see how we're working as a team here in the club. We put a plan together early and Oleksandr Zinchenko was a main focus on our list.
"We're pleased to have Alex with us now because he has the attributes which I'm sure are going to put our squad at a different level."
Pep Guardiola has hailed the impact Oleksandr Zinchenko had at Manchester City and said the success the Ukraine international earns at Arsenal will be shared by his former club.
Ahead of Zinchenko's move to the Emirates, the City boss said: "Like Gabriel [Jesus] and Raheem [Sterling], the impact of those three players in the years I am here has been massive.
"So we are going to miss them. They are exceptional players but, for different circumstances, they move on.
"Chelsea and Arsenal are two incredible clubs and the success and happiness they will have there will be ours.
"For myself and I think on behalf of the club, our gratitude for their effort and the way they behave on and off the pitch.
"It was nice yesterday with Oleks because we could say 'bye' properly. Unfortunately with Raheem and Gabriel we could not do it because it was the summertime, but yesterday at dinner together we could say 'bye' to him."
Sky Sports football journalist Sam Blitz:
"Mikel Arteta has been looking at additions at left-back and central midfield in this summer transfer window. The Gunners wanted Ajax's Lisandro Martinez, who has experience in playing in both positions as well as centre half, but now looks destined for Manchester United. Leicester City's Youri Tielemans has also been looked at but that interest has cooled in recent weeks.
"There is reason why the Arsenal manager needs support in that role. At left-back, Kieran Tierney has picked up long-term injuries in the last two seasons at crucial moments and while Nuno Tavares was signed as cover last summer, the young Portuguese full-back struggled in the big moments and ended up behind Cedric Soares and Granit Xhaka in the left-back pecking order come the end of the season.
"In midfield, Xhaka is a mainstay in Arteta's team but there is little competition for his specific role. Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny and Albert Sambi Lokonga all compete for the same position at the base of Arsenal's midfield, leaving Xhaka to a number 8 role.
"Should he play in midfield, a role he undertakes regularly at international level, Zinchenko would compete with Xhaka at Arsenal - and a closer look at their respective heatmaps last season shows that the two play in the same area of the pitch, even though the Ukrainian played at left-back and the Arsenal man operated from midfield.
"On the ball, Zinchenko's passing statistics are superior to Xhaka's - but that is to be expected given Guardiola's City keep the ball and use it better than Arsenal. Zinchenko and City defended a lot less than Arsenal last summer, but the Ukrainian international's defensive stats still trump Xhaka's. Zinchenko won more tackles, interceptions and challenges in the air than the Swiss midfielder - a reminder that the two players operate in roughly the same area of the pitch."
Who will be on the move this summer before the transfer window closes at 11pm on September 1.
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