Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has described Oleksandr Zinchenko as an “exceptional footballer” ahead of his £32m move from Manchester City.
Speaking after a 3-1 win over Orlando City during the Gunners’ pre-season tour in the USA, Arteta said: “As you’ve seen, he is here [in Orlando]. There are still a few formalities to get everything completed but we’re really happy to have him.
“I know the play really well, he’s an exceptional footballer and he is someone that is going to bring us another competitive edge to that dressing room.”
Arteta also shed light on where he might deploy the Ukraine international, who played as a left-back under Pep Guardiola and is used in a midfield role at the international level. “He can play in both,” added Arteta.
“He was a natural No 10 early in his career and we converted him into a left-back [at Manchester City], 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.
“[Versatility] is one of the things and the way we can adapt structures, formations, and rotations within the squad and playing with the same players in a different way. To be more unpredictable is obviously important and that is why we have recruited [versatile] players.”
‘We have a big squad, things must happen
Zincheckko will be Arsenal’s fifth recruit of the summer after signing Gabriel Jesus (£45m), Fabio Vieira (£34m), Matt Turner (£7.5m), and Marquinhos (£3m), while Alexandre Lacazette remains the only first-team departure.
“We have a large squad,” added Arteta.”We have to make some decisions on the players that we’re not going to be using consistently and be fair and straight with them and that’s a process that is going to start very soon as well.
“We have to, and now we have to make things happen.