Arsenal have signed Oleksandr Zinchenko on an four-year-deal, taking another Manchester City first team player to the Emirates.
His arrival makes sense given the variety of positions he can play, as well as the injury tendencies of Kieran Tierney, although he has certainly had his own problems (more below).
𝗠𝗔 x 𝗔𝗭
Looking good, Alex 😎 pic.twitter.com/d5xU2vvq3d
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 22, 2022
Speaking to the official Arsenal site, Mikel Arteta said, “We’re so happy Alex has joined us. He’s a player that I personally know really well and continued to follow him after my time at Manchester City. Alex is a high quality player who will give us options and versatility.
“It’s not only about the positions he can play but as well, the versatility he will give us in attack and defence. Alex is a person with great human qualities and character, and I’m delighted that everyone has made this huge effort to bring Alex to the club.”
Edu added, ““I’m very pleased to see how we’re working as a team here in the club. We put a plan together early and Oleksandr Zinchenko was a main focus on our list.
“We’re pleased to have Alex with us now because he has the attributes which I’m sure are going to put our squad at a different level.”
On Instagram on Friday, Zinchenko posted a farewell video for City fans:
In his first interview with Arsenal, Zinchenko said, “I would like to say boyhood dream come true because I was a massive fan as a kid. Since Thierry Henry and young Cesc Fabregas was playing here, I was enjoying watching Arsenal and obviously that’s why I started to love this club.
“So I’m so excited and I cannot wait to play for this amazing club.”
💬 “First of all I would like to say, this is a boyhood dream come true.”
📺 Watch our first interview with our new signing now! 👇
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 22, 2022
Zinchenko also highlighted Mikel Arteta’s importance in his decision to come to Arsenal.
“I would say it’s [Arteta being manager] 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.
“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.”
Then asked about his relationship with Gabriel Jesus, Zinchenko admitted the pair are close.
“Oh, to be honest we are close to each other and I love him so much,” he said.
“He’s my big friend and I would like to say he was also involved in the discussions and all these things, so he’s told me a lot of good things about this amazing club and about this atmosphere, and the guys and everyone here, so I’m really impressed and so excited.
The 25-year-old, who still had another two years left on his City contract, played 28 times last season, assisting five.
Zinchenko signed for City from Ufa in 2016 for £1.8m before spending a season on loan with PSV Eindhoven. He has made a total of 127 appearances for City in that time, scoring two and assisting 12.
117 of those appearances were as a left-back, while three came on the left of midfield, three in central midfield and one as a defensive midfielder.
A full Ukraine international, he has 52 caps and eight goals for his country where he tends to be used as a central midfielder (46 CM, 2 AM, 2 LM, 1 LB, 1 CF).
On the injury front, at Manchester City, Zinchenko missed 69 games through a variety of injuries that have included numerous knocks, knee surgery, calf and thigh strains, muscle fatigue, a nose injury, and hip problems that he can chat to Tierney about.
Manchester Evening News writer, Simon Bajkowski, reports that City were not looking to sell Zinchenko this summer who has previously rejected other offers to leave before Mikel Arteta came calling.
Source: Daily Cannon
Arsenal loanee keeps his 4th clean sheet
Arthur Okonkwo saving a penalty for Arsenal against Plymouth Argyle (Photo via Arete on Twitter)Crewe Alexandra came out on top against Kevin Betsy’s Crawley Town on Saturday, with the former Arsenal academy coach unable to find a way past his old goalkeeper, Arthur Okonkwo.
Okonkwo kept his fourth clean sheet of the season in Saturday’s 1-0 win, making it nine goals conceded in nine games.
It’s a very solid start for the young Gunner, who celebrated his 21st birthday earlier this month.
Just as encouraging as his performances is the fact Okonkwo has been featuring so consistently so far. The goalkeeper is yet to miss a minute of his side’s League Two campaign.
Arsenal goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo warming up before the UEFA Europa League match at Estadio de la Ceramica, Villarreal. Copyright: Focus ImagesGoalkeeper loans can be a bit hit and miss, as it’s often hard to break in if you don’t make the starting lineup immediately.
Conversely, if you can nail down your place in the early stages of the loan, it sets you up well to play regularly all year.
So far, it doesn’t appear that Okonkwo is going to have much trouble earning minutes with Crewe.
Referee gets life ban for holding VAR review on fan’s mobile phone
Serbian referee Stefan Lazovic who used footage on a fan’s mobile phone for VAR review to overturn an offside decision has been banned for life.
Lazovic went viral after pictures emerged of his VAR check in one of Serbia’s lower-tier competitions earlier this week.
He had originally ruled out a goal for offside before studying the spectator’s video, eventually deciding that the player was in fact onside.
And the Sun reports that Serbian chiefs were not impressed by the decision and have since stripped Lazovic of his duties.
Lazovic’s alleged dismissal sparked outrage on social media, as fans stood in support of the referee.
Former Manchester United and Chelsea star Nemanja Matic commented on an Instagram post supporting Lazovic with a two raised hands emoji.
The original comment written by ftbl.serbia read: “Support for Stefan Lazovic! Why should only he suffer, why such a rigorous sentence, why a lifetime ban from trial?
“How is it possible that there is no penalty for the delegate and all other authorities from the responsible FS of that district?
“How could the match be allowed to be played without one assistant referee?! Who is responsible here? Why does Stefan’s spear break?
“At the end of the day, the fact that he watched the video and changed the decision, just shows that he wanted everything to be FAIR!
“He talks about the fact that he was not a slave to his vanity, but he admitted and corrected his mistake.
“Well, this video went around the world and now millions of people have heard about the ‘over there’ football clubs Popovic and Apollon, as well as the village of Vrnjci!
“In short, we appeal to the judges’ organisation and the competent authorities – now you CHANGE the decision! Let the VAR system work for you too and cancel the penalty. Correct the ERROR!
“SUPPORT FOR STEFAN LAZOVIC!”
Dani Alves claims European football ‘full of racists’ after Vinicius Jnr slur
Dani Alves has claimed that the European football is “full of racists” as he responded to the racist abuse Vinicius Jnr was targeted with in Spain.
Real Madrid’s 22-year-old forward was targeted with a racist slur by agent Pedro Bravo, who said during an El Chiringuito discussion of the Brazil international that “in Spain, you have to respect rivals and stop playing the monkey”.
Following a backlash alleging that this was a racist stereotype, Bravo has subsequently apologised on social media by claiming that he misused a metaphor. It has opened a discussion across Spain and further afield of the language and attitude applied towards footballers with racial undertones.
Vinicius Junior has vowed to keep his goal dancing celebrations as they show “the happiness of a black Brazilian in Europe”, with his celebrations similar to those of his fellow Brazilian stars over the years – including international teammate Neymar.
Indeed, the Paris Saint-Germain star took to Twitter to defend his Vinicius: “Dribble, dance and be you! Happy just the way you are. Go for it my boy, next goal we dance.” Meanwhile, Brazil legend Pele added: “Football is joy. It’s a dance. It’s a real party. Although racism still exists, we will not allow that to stop us from continuing to smile.”
However, Alves has now gone further in his reaction to the fallout from Bravo’s comments in Spain by hitting out at the culture within European football. The right-back – who is currently playing for Mexican club Pumas having joined from Barcelona earlier this year – has stated that he experienced elements of racism everywhere he went on the continent.
Alves wrote on Twitter: “It is serious that there are idiots who continue to think that the dances are the problem. Gentlemen, the real problem is that Europe is full of RACISTs and they do not accept that other nationalities stand out in their country more than they do. I experienced that in almost every place there.”
A statement from Real Madrid added that they condemned “regrettable and unfortunate comments made against our player” and would take legal action against anyone making racist comments towards members of their squad. The Brazilian Football Federation called for “dancing, dribbling and above all respect” in a statement of solidarity.
Brazil’s legendary striker Ronaldo, formerly of Real Madrid, joined in the condemnation of the abuse directed at Vinicius: “Your dances do not disrespect anyone, racism does: it disrespects, excludes, hurts and kills.”
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