Arsene Wenger was absolutely intent on signing Oleksandr Zinchenko before the starlet opted for Manchester City, according to his agent
Zinchenko, who was signed by Manchester City in July 2016 Russian club FC Ufa, is currently out on loan at PSV Eindhoven.
The 19-year-old has made 9 appearances for the Dutch club already this season – 6 of which have come as a substitute – and has picked up one assist. Zinchenko is a hugely promising talent and had attracted interest from a host of clubs after his performances last season.
One of those clubs was Arsenal, according to Zinchenko’s agent, Sandor Varga, who says Wenger was adamant about signing Zinchenko before the Ukrainian international opted for Manchester City :
“Wenger called and said: ‘I have need for that player. He’s going to play in the first team. I know he is only seventeen, but I’m going to write a letter to his family that I will take care of him when he is with us and he’ll play in the first team.’
“Arsene had seen a youth game of Shakhtar and took 20 minutes to assess the potential of Oleksandr.” he said, according to The Mirror
“Wenger asked me ten times about Zinchenko and I later informed him and felt even a bit sad because I couldn’t help him.”
Zinchenko is Ukraine’s youngest goalscorer, beating Ukrainian legend Andriy Shevchenko’s after scoring his first international goal in a friendly against Romania in May. He is also Ukraine’s third-youngest player in their history,
He was also called up to Ukraine’s squad for EURO 2016, but could only muster 2 substitute appearances, replacing Viktor Kovalenko both times in Ukraine’s first two matches of the tournament.
A tricky, pacy left-footed player who likes to cut inside, Zinchenko can play on either wing or in the No.10 position. He is widely regarded as Ukraine’s most promising talent in recent years, and City will be keenly monitoring his progress at PSV.
At 19 years of age, Zinchenko is still learning his trade, but the fact that Arsene Wenger and then Manchester City were so keen to secure his services is a good indicator that the youngster has a bright future ahead of him.