News, Culture & Society

Passnotes on latest Manchester City left-back Zincenko

The knee injury sustained by Fabian Delph in Manchester City’s 4-3 defeat by Liverpool cleared the way for a new face to have a run under Pep Guardiola at left-back.

Oleksandr Zinchenko is, by trade, a midfielder but the 21-year-old has been given a run in defence by Guardiola after Delph hobbled off with a knee injury at Anfield last weekend. 

So who exactly is the newest member of the starting line-up for the Premier League’s runaway leaders? Sportsmail looks at his career to date.

Oleksandr Zinchenko is the latest left-back at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola

How did he catch Manchester City’s eye?

Zinchenko’s move to City in the summer of 2016 capped a brilliant season for the then 19-year-old.

Having broken into the first team at FC Ufa in 2014-15, the following season was where Zinchenko established himself as a regular with 24 appearances.

His displays helped him into the Ukranian national side in time for Euro 2016. He made his debut against in a Euro 2016 qualifier against Spain in October 2015, which Ukraine lost 1-0.

Zinchenko played regularly for FA Ufa in the season before he moved to City 

Zinchenko played regularly for FA Ufa in the season before he moved to City 

After playing for Ukraine at Euro 2017, Zinchenko signed a five-year contract at City

After playing for Ukraine at Euro 2017, Zinchenko signed a five-year contract at City

In May 2016, in a friendly with Russia, Zinchenko scored his first and so far only goal on the international stage in a 4-3 win ahead of Euro 2016. In turn, the 19-year-old replaced Andriy Shevchenko as his country’s youngest ever scorer.

At the Euros in France, Zinchenko made substitute appearances in all three of Ukraine’s group matches, but they lost all three to Germany, Northern Ireland and Poland.

A fortnight after Ukraine exited the tournament, Zinchenko was announced as a City player on a five-year deal.

So where was he in 2016-17? 

Zinchenko featured in pre-season against teams such as Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, allowing Guardiola to asses his new talent while beginning to implement his philosophy onto his new squad.  

But with City unable to guarantee regular first-team action in a season of transition, Zinchenko  was sent on loan to then Dutch champions, PSV Eindhoven.

It’s fair to say things didn’t work out perfectly for him in Holland. He made 16 appearances in total, including four in the Champions League, but found himself sidelined for large swathes.

Things didn't go well for Zinchenko at PSV Eindhoven, despite making 17 appearances

Things didn’t go well for Zinchenko at PSV Eindhoven, despite making 17 appearances

Zinchenko is not renowned as one of the more confident characters in City's dressing room

Zinchenko is not renowned as one of the more confident characters in City’s dressing room

‘I’m not happy here,’ Zinchenko told Zimbra. ‘That makes sense when you play no minutes for seven games in a row.

‘I do not understand why I am the one that is never used. It is simply the choice of the coach and it is not to discuss. I will not be sorry. It is a strange experience, but I’m sure it’s good for me.’

Zinechenko was considered a shy character upon arriving at City to a dressing room filled with big names from throughout the game. A lack of confidence could have contributed to his tricky time in Holland.

Is he one of City’s more reserved characters, then?

He’s certainly not (yet) as much of a vocal presence on social media as team-mates Benjamin Mendy and Raheem Sterling but he seems to be extremely confident in the capabilities of the team he is now playing in.

Unlike his manager, Zinchenko has talked up the prospect of City winning the quadruple this season.

‘We can win everything and that’s why we are here,’ Zinchenko said after playing in City’s 1-0 win over Burnley in January. ‘We think about this every single day and every training session.

‘The manager told me I had to be ready for my chance. I am happy to be part of this team and train hard every day.’ 

Zinchenko has talked up City's chances of winning all four competitions they are in this season

Zinchenko has talked up City’s chances of winning all four competitions they are in this season

Zinchenko, 21, has been known to take on extra gym session in order to bulk up

Zinchenko, 21, has been known to take on extra gym session in order to bulk up

In order to adjust to the physical nature of English football, Zinchenko has been known to stay behind at City after training for extra gym sessions.

So far, he has made only seven appearances for City so far this season but four of those have come this month. 

With no timespan on Delph’s return and Mendy recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury, he could well have a key role to play for City in their bid for any silverware, let alone all four trophies. 

 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



Find local lawyers and law firms at USAttorneys.com