Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City in a £32m deal.
The Gunners paid £30m up front with an additional £2m, with the Ukraine international signing a long-term deal at the Emirates.
Zinchenko has already joined the Arsenal squad during their pre-season training camp in Orlando, with his squad number expected 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 Arsenal manager’s tenure as assistant to Man City boss Pep Guardiola, can fill a variety of positions including left-back and central midfielder.
It is understood that Arteta is excited about the prospect of working with Zinchenko again and appreciates his versatility as a player.
Arsenal were in the market for a left-sided defender and were trying to sign Manchester United-linked Lisandro Martinez from Ajax, who is expected to join United in a £57million deal.
Zinchenko is teaming 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 £45million deal.
Zinchenko becomes the Gunners’ fifth summer signing after the arrivals of Jesus, Marquinhos, Matt Turner and Fabio Vieira.
Arteta: Zinchenko will give us options and versatility
After Zinchenko’s arrival, Arteta told the club’s official website: “We are so happy that Alex has joined us. He is a player I personally know very well and I continued to follow him after my stay at Manchester City.
“Alex is a great quality player who will give us options and versatility. It’s not just about the positions he can play, but also the versatility he will give us in attack and defense.
“Alex is a person with great human qualities and character, and I am delighted that everyone has made this huge effort to bring Alex to the club.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal technical director Edu has revealed Zinchenko is a ‘main target’ for the Gunners this summer.
The Brazilian told the club’s official website: “I’m very happy to see how we work as a team here at the club. We made a plan early and Oleksandr Zinchenko was at the center of our list.
“We are delighted to have Alex with us now because he has the qualities that I’m sure will take our team to a different level.”
Pep: Zinchenko’s impact was huge
Pep Guardiola hailed Oleksandr Zinchenko’s impact at Manchester City and said the Ukraine international’s success at Arsenal would be shared by his former club.
Ahead of Zinchenko’s move to the Emirates, the City boss said: “Like Gabriel [Jesus] and Rahim [Sterling]the impact of these three players over the years I’ve been here has been huge.
“So we will miss them. They are exceptional players but, for different circumstances, they are moving on.
“Chelsea and Arsenal are two incredible clubs and the success and happiness they have there will be ours.
“For me and I think of the name of the club, our gratitude for their efforts and the way they behave on and off the pitch.
“It was good yesterday with Oleks because we could say ‘goodbye’ properly. Unfortunately with Raheem and Gabriel we couldn’t because it was summer, but yesterday at dinner together we had could say ‘goodbye’ to him.”
Why versatile and reliable Zinchenko fits Arsenal’s bill
Sam Blitz, Sky Sports football journalist:
“Mikel Arteta considered additions to left-back and central midfield in this summer transfer window. The Gunners wanted Lisandro Martinez from Ajax, who has experience in both positions as well as half central, but now appears destined for Manchester United.Youri Tielemans of Leicester City has also been looked into, but that interest has cooled in recent weeks.
“There’s a reason the Arsenal manager needs support in this role. At left-back, Kieran Tierney has picked up long-term injuries over the past two seasons at crucial times and while Nuno Tavares was signed as cover last summer, the young Portuguese full-back struggled in big moments and found himself behind Cedric Soares and Granit Xhaka in the left-back pecking order at the end of the season. season.
“In midfield, Xhaka is a mainstay in Arteta’s side but there is little competition for his specific role. Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny and Albert Sambi Lokonga are all vying for the same position at the base of midfield. Arsenal ground, leaving Xhaka to a number 8 role.
“If he were to play in midfield, a role he regularly performs at international level, Zinchenko would rival Xhaka at Arsenal – and a closer look at their respective heatmaps last season shows the two playing in the same area of the pitch, although the Ukrainian played at left-back and the Arsenal man operated from midfield.
“On the ball, Zinchenko’s passing stats are better than Xhaka’s – but that’s to be expected given Guardiola City keep the ball and use it better than Arsenal. Zinchenko and City defended a lot less than Arsenal last summer, but the Ukraine international’s defensive stats still trump Xhaka Zinchenko has won more tackles, interceptions and challenges through the air than the Swiss midfielder – a reminder that both players operate in roughly the same area of the pitch.
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