Saturday, December 2

Oleksandr Zinchenko: Why Manchester City player fits Arsenal’s style of play under Mikel Arteta

Arsenal have agreed a £32m deal for Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko; 25-year-old has won four Premier League titles but made just 15 top-flight appearances last season; Zinchenko can play at left-back and in central midfield

It was an afternoon that nearly saw Manchester City’s season fall apart, but an unlikely hero stepped up.

City were 1-0 down to Aston Villa at half-time on the final day of last season. Liverpool would go on to beat Wolves at Anfield so Pep Guardiola needed some inspiration or the title would fall into Jurgen Klopp’s hands.

During the break, Guardiola turned to his bench. Raheem Sterling was there, so too Ilkay Gundogan and Jack Grealish. But it was Oleksandr Zinchenko who was picked, coming on for makeshift centre-back Fernandinho in a reshuffle of City’s defence.

The build-up and shape of the team needed to change and Zinchenko was the man to help. The Ukraine international went to left-back and dictated the play, making 13 carries in the second half and setting up Rodri for City’s equaliser to make it 2-2. City, who suddenly looked more fluid, went on to win the game – and the title.

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