Arsenal star reveals the ‘amazing’ thing he knew about Mikel Arteta ‘since day one

Arsenal defender Oleksandr Zinchenko has now heaped praise on Mikel Arteta. 

Prior to joining ArsenalOleksandr Zinchenko worked under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, where Mikel Arteta was also an assistant for a tim

Zinchenko now plies his trade as a left-back at the Emirates Stadium, having joined the north London club in a £32 million deal in the summer of 2022.

The Ukrainian full-back is of vital tactical importance to Arteta, as he is able to play the left-back role in an inverted fashion. The 27-year-old is given license to drift infield when Arsenal are in possession, becoming something of an auxiliary playmaker in the middle of the park as the Gunners seek to construct attacking moves.

Zinchenko has his flaws as a defender, as he lacks pace and physicality, and can be vulnerable in one-on-one situations. However, he offers a great deal in possession to offset those weaknesses.

Arteta clearly has a great deal of faith in Zinchenko, as he affords the 58-cap Ukraine international plenty of freedom and responsibility.

Zinchenko has now shared his own thoughts on the Spanish coach. Speaking to The Athletic, the player said, “he’s a winner. It’s his mentality and character off the pitch as well. When you know him a bit closer as a person, you can straight away say that he’s quite demanding and he pays attention to a lot of small details.”

“I really like his vision, the way he sees football and his mentality. Since day one when I met him, I knew he would be an amazing manager.”

Arsenal FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League

What is Mikel Arteta’s plan for Oleksandr Zinchenko?

Zinchenko has worked with some great managers in his career, including Guardiola, so his insight ought to be considered valuable.

However, it seems that Arteta is keen to provide additional competition for the former Manchester City man. Jurrien Timber was brought to the club in the summer, and Zinchenko welcomed the challenge that this heralded.

Due to the long-term injury that the Dutchman suffered at the start of the season, though, Arteta is once again on the lookout for reinforcements in that part of the pitch. Arsenal have been linked with a move for Leonardo Spinazzola this month. The Roma defender is thought to now be available for a cut-price fee due to his current contract situation with the Serie A outfit.

There is a chance, then, that Arteta does not intend for Zinchenko to be the club’s first choice left-back for long. When Timber is back in contention, along with Takehiro Tomiyasu, he will be pushing hard to usurp Zinchenko in the pecking order.

 

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