Arsenal’s fifth summer signing was confirmed yesterday afternoon. Oleksandr Zinchenko. He’s a winner, Premier League proved, a left sided player in midfield or defence and a great addition to Mikel Arteta’s squad. I say squad but I think it’s fair to assume that a player of his quality is for the first eleven. I doubt there’s an Arsenal player or fan who is not excited by this signing, or any other signing the club has made this summer.
In his first interview, Zinchenko was asked many questions but I’ve just picked out three:
You have just been welcomed to the training camp here in Florida, what have been your first impressions?
It’s an amazing atmosphere you know, everyone is so kind, and all the staff here are amazing. I heard a lot of good things from Manchester City people about the medical staff or whatever, the guys working in the kitchen, the players and obviously Gabriel Jesus. So I heard here is an amazing atmosphere.
One of those people you knew from Manchester City is the boss. How important was he in your decision to sign?
I would say it’s the most important role in my decision because I’ve known Mister for a while, I used to work with him at Manchester City. Since the first day at City I knew that he’s going to be a very good manager. The way he can see football, especially I was watching the last season of Arsenal’s games and I was really enjoying it. You can see in the style, the picture of the game, so I would love to see it (while) playing and being involved.
What was your relationship like back at Manchester City? How much did he help your game?
The way we were working together, I was so impressed because I remember how many times we were working hard in the training sessions and then straight after with individual stuff and I took a lot from the manager and I hope I can take even more.
I suggested the other day that Mikel Arteta is an important part of why City players have said yes to Arsenal. Jesus and Zinchenko aren’t old has beens, they’re certainly not Pep’s rejects either, they are footballers who are joining Arsenal to make a difference. Top quality players who are yet to reach their peak.
Arsenal aren’t done in this transfer window yet either, Mikel Arteta made that quite clear during his interview yesterday when he discussed our new addition. Grinning from ear to ear he said:
There are still a few things we’d like to do, ins and outs, and that will be determined by the possibilities that are on the market. We know where we’re going to end up at the end of this window, and hopefully we can make it work.
Ins and outs is music to my ears albeit obvious because there are a number of players who simply aren’t going to be in Mikel Arteta’s plans going forwards. If they were, they’d not have gone on loan last season. I’m referring to the more senior players here: Torreira, Bellerin Mari, Nelson and Maitland-Niles. If the latter two have impressed Arteta during pre-season, maybe there’s a chance they will stay bearing in mind the homegrown ruling and being in four competitions. Tavares is rumoured to be off out on loan whilst there’s being no news on what’s next for Balogun. There’s a good chance he’ll stay in my opinion because of the domestic cup competitions.
More interesting than who leaves, is who might join before the transfer window closes and after Mikel Arteta’s comments, I’m sure we’ll be linked to a lot of players before the end of next month. We’ll see what unfolds soon enough but I’m liking the ambition the club is showing this summer. I like the fact that the Kroenke family are stepping up and putting their money where their mouth is. Josh Kroenke told us to be excited about the future and as far as signings go, what’s not to be excited about?
Lastly, the back pages, certainly the Mail, report that Bukayo Saka has been offered a double your money new contract. Whilst I don’t usually believe a word the Mail write, this one is probably one of their better guesses. Of course Arsenal will want him to stay, what club wouldn’t want to keep hold of their prize asset and with Arsenal showing so much ambition this summer, on top of last, I reckon he’ll soon sign a new deal.
See you in the comments.