Oleksandr Zinchenko

Oleksandr Zinchenko vows to prove Arsenal ‘doubters’ wrong as Gunners star admits to enduring poor Premier League season

Arsenal’s promising season ended in disappointment as they yet again missed out on the Premier League title. Mikel Arteta’s men finished second, two points behind champions Manchester City. The Gunners performed admirably, winning 28 of 38 league games but the City juggernaut proved too much to contend with.

One of Arteta’s crop who endured a somewhat unconvincing campaign after an impressive debut season at the Emirates was Oleksandr Zinchenko. The Ukrainian left-back failed to continue his 2022-23 form that saw him named in the Premier League Team of the Year. He appeared 35 times across competitions, managing one goal and two assists, dealing with fitness issues throughout.

Zinchenko acknowledged that his season perhaps wasn’t up to par but he was adamant that he would prove his doubters wrong come next season. The 60-cap Ukraine international posted a message to fans on his Instagram account:

“Proud of the team and happy to be one of you Gunners. The club’s season is over now and unfortunately we didn’t get what we wanted but I am sure this club is on the right way to achieve everything. Personally I completely understand that it wasn’t my best season so far and I promise first of all to all fans and doubters that I’ll be back much stronger. Thank you so much for your massive support and see you very soon.”

The 27-year-old joined Arsenal from title rivals Manchester City in July 2022 for £30 million and became a fan favorite last season. He faces competition from the versatile Jakub Kiwior to try and reclaim his left-back starting berth at the Emirates. The Polish defender filled in for the former Cityzens full-back during an injury spell and made the position his own.

Arsenal could reportedly be open to offers for Zinchenko this summer after unremarkable Premier League campaign

Zinchenko wants to bounce back from a somewhat disappointing 2023-24 campaign but Arsenal might not afford him the chance. His future is uncertain with the north Londoners expected to undergo squad changes in the summer transfer window as they react to missing out on the title.

football.london journalist Kaya Kaynak reports that he is one of the Gunners’ squad who could be sold if the right offer is made. He has two years left on his contract but his club could look to cash in amid Kiwior’s impressive run in the team. Kaynak claims the defender falls into the age bracket of players the north London giants may be willing to part ways with if a good offer arrives.

Arteta waxed lyrical about Kiwior’s form and adaptation to the left-back position when speaking in February (via One Football):

“I think he has adapted really well and he is playing better and better, you can tell that he is earning the confidence and physically he is better. He understands the role much better and he has been really good.”

Arsenal’s defense was the strongest in the league last season, conceding just 29 goals and Arteta often likes his full-backs to be able to drop into the middle. The Spanish coach could scour the market for a new left-back or continue with Kiwior but question marks are growing over Zinchenko’s future. He will captain Ukraine at this summer’s European Championships before returning for pre-season.

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