Arsenal: Mikel Arteta hints at player sales in transfer update ahead of Oleksandr Zinchenko arrival

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta has backed Oleksandr Zinchenko to add a “competitive edge” to the Arsenal dressing room and suggested players must be sold before the Gunners make further signings this summer.

Zinchenko is set to become the fourth senior arrival at the Emirates during this window, after agreeing a £32million switch from Manchester City.

The Ukrainian was at the Exploria Stadium as Arsenal beat Orlando City 3-1 overnight in the penultimate game of their pre-season tour of the United States, with Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson on the scoresheet, and his signing is set to be formally announced by the end of the week.

The 25-year-old will add significant experience to Arteta’s young squad, having won four Premier League titles and regularly featured in the latter stages of the Champions League, including starting the 2021 final against Chelsea.

“As you've seen he is here,” Arteta said. “There are still a few formalities to get everything completed but we're really happy to have him.

“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.”

The Gunners have been targeting midfield reinforcements all summer and were also keen to add at left-back in order to provide cover and competition for Kieran Tierney, who has seen each of his campaigns in north London disrupted by injury.

Signing Zinchenko may have effectively killed two birds with one stone, with Arteta having played a role in his conversion from midfielder to full-back while on Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Man City.

“Both, he can play in both [positions],” Arteta said. “He was a natural No. 10 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-back so I'm really happy.”

Zinchenko’s arrival will see him follow in the footsteps of Gabriel Jesus, who left the Etihad earlier this summer, while the Gunners have also signed Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira and American goalkeeper Matt Turner, along with Brazilian youngster Marquinhos, though the latter is not expected to play a first-team role immediately.

Arteta’s squad has been further bolstered by the return of a number of loan players and though some, like centre-back William Saliba, are firmly in the Spaniard’s plans, there is uncertainty over the futures of the likes of Lucas Torreira, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Hector Bellerin and Nelson, while Zinchenko’s arrival could see Nuno Tavares sent out on loan.

When asked about the prospect of further new signings, Arteta said: “I don't know. It's what we have today.

“We have a large squad so we have to make some decisions as well 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 a big squad and now we have to make things happen.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting