Arsenal are reportedly interested in a summer transfer move for Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko. Mikel Arteta is said to primarily be interested in the 25-year old Ukrainian as a midfielder, which is where he plays for the national team. Zinchenko does have the added “bonus” of having Premier League experience at left back, a place where the Gunners need cover for the oft-injured Kieran Tierney.
When Mikel Arteta took over at Arsenal, we sorta expected the club would become Manchester City-lite, at least in terms of playing style. After all, Arteta cut his coaching teeth learning under Pep Guardiola, so at the very least, he’s iterating off Pep’s base concepts. I’m not sure that anybody expected Arsenal to straight-up raid the City squad, as they seem prepared to do this summer with Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus.
The flip side of that coin is that it’s really easy to link Manchester City players with Arsenal based solely off the Arteta connection and not much else. Remember the Raheem Sterling links? I think there is probably more too the Zinchenko rumor than that (and definitely more to the Gabriel Jesus links), but how much? Who can say.
It feels a little weird to make two big transfer moves for players from the same club, but I can’t exactly put my finger on why that is. It’s not a question of enriching a rival. City have all the money in the world, and they aren’t really an Arsenal rival in the table, at least not yet. Maybe it’s just me. But it feels odd.
And while I’d wager against Arsenal buying Zinchenko, I think it would be a solid addition mostly because of his positional flexibility. Buying a player who can cover for both Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney is good. Buying one that does that and is probably independently good enough to be a starter at Arsenal is even better.
But again, I don’t think it’s going to happen, so on to the next one. I reserve the right to amend that take, however, should the rumors become more widespread and persistent.