Mikel Arteta breaks silence on Oleksandr Zinchenko Arsenal transfer… and hints at position for Ukraine ace


MIKEL ARTETA has hinted new signing Oleksandr Zinchenko will be utilised in the No10 role at Arsenal.

The 25-year-old ace was watching from the stands during the Gunners’ pre-season win over Orlando City.

Arteta worked with Zinchenko while he was an assistant coach at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola.

And soon-to-be boss confirmed that the £30million reunion is all but finalised during post-game press conferences.

The Spaniard said: “There are still a few formalities to get everything completed but we’re really happy to have him.

The player still wants to know what role he would play at Arsenal and does not want to move if he is only going to be unused as an understudy to left-back Kieran Tierney.

But manager Mikel Arteta believes Zinchenko could also play in central midfield, which is an area of the pitch which has become a cause for concern in recent weeks.

His arrival would take Arsenal’s summer spending to £115million following the signings of Gabriel Jesus, Fabio Vieira, Marquinhos and Matt Turner.

“I know the player really well, he’s an exceptional footballer and he is someone that is going to bring as well another competitive edge to that dressing room.

“He can play in both defence and midfield. He was a natural No10 early in his career and we converted him into a left-back which can do a lot of things that we want in our way of playing.

“That versatility is something that is going to be important for the team because we have players in that position who are more specific full-backs, so I’m really happy.”

Almost every one of his 127 appearances for City have been at left-back, despite previous midfield endeavours.

Zinchenko produced eye-catching performances in centre mid against Scotland and Wales in the World Cup qualifying play-offs.

A man-of-the-match display at Hampden Park helped take Ukraine just a single game away from this winter’s showcase in Qatar.

In an exciting summer for the Gunners’ fanbase, Zinchenko follows City team-mate Gabriel Jesus in making the move to North London.

Meanwhile, midfielder Lucas Torreira has reportedly left the club’s American tour for “personal reasons”.

The Uruguay international wasn’t named on the bench for Wednesday night’s game and has flown to Italy, where he spent last season on loan at Fiorentina.

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