Oleksandr Zinchenko Wages & Contract
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Oleksandr Zinchenko plays as a left-back for Arsenal football club and the Ukrainian National team. He started out playing in midfield but made the transition to left-back during his time playing for FC Ufa in Russia.
Zinchenko began playing football in northern Ukrainian for a local team. At the age of 11, a scout spotted his ability and gave him a chance to play for Monolith in Odessa. While playing for the team, many more clubs in the country began noticing his talents. This would lead to him signing for Shakhtar Donetsk, one of the best teams in the country. He would go on to become captain of their under-19 side.
Conflict in the country led to him moving from Odessa to Moscow but Zinchenko was still signed to Shakhtar Donesk. FC Ufa persuaded his old club to release him and this meant he could sign for a the Russian team. It was during his time at Ufa that he made the switch from midfield to left-back.
Zinchenko’s break came during the 2016 Euros where his performances drew the attention of major European clubs. Manchester City would win his signature and paid £1,700,000 to bring him to the club. His time at the club got off to a rocky start. In his first season, he went on loan to PSV Eindhoven. During his time there he made just 6 first-team starts.
Upon his return to City, Zinchenko needed to impress and he did. He earned the trust of manager Pep Guardiola and over the following few seasons would go on to win 4 League titles, 4 League Cups, 1 FA Cup, as well as playing in the Champions League Final.
During his time at Manchester City, Pep Guardiola’s assistant coach was Mikel Arteta. Arteta would go on to become manager at Arsenal in 2019. Arsenal needed to rebuild when Arteta took over and he would look back to his old team for players he could trust to perform at a high level consistently. This would lead to Zinchenko signing for Arsenal a few years later in 2022.
At Arsenal, Arteta likes to make use of Zinchenko’s passing ability, stemming from his previous experience in midfield. On the pitch, he will play as a traditional left-back while defending but invert when going forward to allow him to get more involved with the team's attack. The inverted left-back is becoming more popular among top sides with many teams starting to opt for the strategy when they have the personnel to do so.
Zinchenko made his first appearance for the Ukrainian national team during the qualifiers for the 2016 European Championships. His first international goal was against Romania and it made him the youngest-ever goal-scorer for Ukraine. Zinchenko would also go on to become Ukraine’s youngest-ever captain at the age of 24.