Zinchenko targets titles after joining Gunners in £32m deal

City ace is latest to join Arsenal overhaul - taking the club's outlay to £121.5m and making them the biggest spenders in the Premier League this summer

Thursday, 21st July — By Steve Barnett

Arsenal

Oleksandr Zinchenko becomes Arsenal’s fifth signing of the summer

FIVE new faces have arrived – and Arsenal are already said to be eyeing up a sixth as they remain on course to be one of the biggest-spending clubs in Europe for the second successive summer.

The Gunners confirmed the signing of Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City this evening (Friday) after agreeing a deal that will see the north Londoners pay £30million up front and £2m in add-ons.

The 25-year-old Ukraine international, who was coached by Mikel Arteta during the Arsenal manager’s spell as assistant to Man City boss Pep Guardiola, can cover a variety of positions, including left-back and central midfield.

Arteta wasted little time singing Zinchenko’s praises, describing him as an “exceptional footballer” who will give Arsenal “the edge”.

He said: “He’s an exceptional footballer and he is someone that is going to bring another competitive edge to our dressing room.

“He can play in both [defence and midfield]. He was a natural No 10 early in his career and [at City] 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 a more specific full-back, so I’m really happy.”

After putting pen-to-paper on a long-term deal – thought to be five years – Zinchenko said it was “a boyhood dream” to sign for Arsenal.

He added: “I was a massive fan when I was a kid. 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.

“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.”

Zinchenko is Arsenal’s fifth summer signing following the arrivals of former Man City teammate Gabriel Jesus, Marquinhos, Matt Turner and Fabio Vieira. It takes their overall outlay so far to £121.5m – making them the biggest spenders in the Premier League this summer.

And a sixth signing could be close with the Gunners still looking to reinforce their midfield.

The club’s technical director, Edu, received a major boost in their bid to land Lucas Paqueta this week with Lyon reportedly slashing their asking price by £21m.

It’s now thought the Brazilian midfielder, 24, could be available for as little as £34m – a far cry from the £55m originally being quoted.

Compatriot Arthur Melo is another potential target for the Gunners with Juventus said to be asking for around £30m for the 25-year-old.

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