'The most important role in my decision' – Zinchenko hails Arteta factor after joining Arsenal

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Oleksandr Zincheko has labelled Mikel Arteta as "the most important role" in his decision to join Arsenal from Manchester City.

The versatile left-back, who regularly plays in midfield when captaining Ukraine, travelled to meet up with the Gunners on their pre-season tour of the United States earlier in the week.

Zinchenko was present as Arsenal defeated Orlando City 3-1 on Wednesday, before his move to the Gunners became official on Friday.

The 25-year-old is thought to have signed a contract at the Emirates Stadium until the end of the 2025-26 season, with Arsenal reportedly paying an initial £30million, and £2m in potential add-ons.

Zinchenko worked with Arteta during the Spaniard's time at City as an assistant coach to Pep Guardiola, and says the former Arsenal and Everton midfielder was a big draw to moving to north London.

"I would say it's the most important role in my decision because I've known [Mikel] for a while, I used to work with him at Manchester City," Zinchenko told Arsenal's official website.

"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.

"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."

Zinchenko leaves City as a four-time Premier League champion, insisting he is eager for another test.

"I'm ready for another challenge. I'm not here just to waste my time and the time of Arsenal because the club is always in front of everyone," he added.

"I am here to achieve big things and I hope we can win some titles, and I hope we are going to fight for every title in which we are going to be involved.

"Even from the last season, I was watching Arsenal's games and I could smell it's coming, you know? The team is growing up so quickly and I think it's time. It's time to do our best and to achieve something big."

It remains to be seen whether Zinchenko will be utilised in defence or further forward, though the Ukraine international will hope to emulate one of his childhood heroes Cesc Fabregas by playing in midfield.

"This is a boyhood dream come true, because I was a massive fan when I was a kid," he continued.

"Since Thierry Henry and young Cesc Fabregas was playing here, I was just enjoying watching those games, that Arsenal. And obviously I started to love this club, so I am so excited and I cannot wait to play for this amazing club."

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