Arsenal can finally axe Zinchenko by sealing “unbelievable” late move

After almost three weeks away, in which they crashed out of the FA Cup, Arsenal finally made their return to Premier League football with a storming 5-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Mikel Arteta must’ve been delighted at full-time as to a man, his side put in the sort of performance fans were hoping for, including those players who were getting a hard time, such as Oleksandr Zinchenko, who GOAL gave a 4/10 for his performance against West Ham United last month.

The Ukrainian has been at fault for a number of goals this season – like in the game against the Hammers – and has seen his place be called into question in the media, so it should come as no surprise that the latest player touted for a move to N5 could be gunning for his spot in the team.


Rome holds the answer to Arsenal’s full-back dilemma

Earlier this month, Italian media outlet La Roma 24 reported that Arsenal and Aston Villa were set to battle it out for Roma full-back and Italian international Leonardo Spinazzola.

However, transfers expert Fabrizio Romano later confirmed that Villa had not placed the Italian on their transfer shortlist, leaving the Gunners in a fantastic position to strike.

Transfers insider Dean Jones seems to believe this is a deal that could happen, as over the weekend, he told GIVEMESPORT: “The thing with Spinazzola is that he is actually available in this window. If this is the route that Arsenal want to go down, in terms of signing somebody, this has real potential.”


One of the main reasons that this deal seems relatively straightforward from the Gunners is that the 30-year-old’s contract expires in the summer, and with his desire to leave the Italian capital clear, it is unlikely that the north Londoners would have to pay more than the £4m he is valued at by the CIES football observatory.

How Spinazzola compares to Zinchenko

The former Manchester City man’s talent on the ball is evident for all to see when he inverts into the middle of the park and has the freedom to ping it about for his fantastic attackers to get on the end of.

Still, when the Gunners are under intense pressure – fairly or not – he always looks on the verge of making a costly mistake.


Whether that be against Liverpool last season when he was nutmegged by Trent Alexander Arnold for Roberto Firmino’s equaliser, this season against Liverpool when Mohamed Salah ran him ragged to score his goal, or even against West Ham last month when he ran into Gabriel to allow Thomas Soucek an open shot on goal – the Ukrainian international just isn’t giving fans a sense of security.

Arsenal legend Ian Wright said as much on his podcast Wrighty’s House (via Dynamo.Kiev): “Zinchenko worries me a lot. I want Arsenal to sign a new left-back in January.”

This is where the “unbelievable” Spinazzola, as described by Fiorentina left-back Fabiano Parisi, could come in and provide respite for Zinchenko and potentially even replace him, should he deliver the sort of performances fans saw during his Euro 2020 campaign – when he made it into the team of the tournament – that was cut tragically short through injury.

The “outrageously good” full-back, as he was described by journalist Matteo Bonetti, has a wealth of experience playing as a left-back and left-sided midfielder that he would be able to call upon at the Emirates, and while Zinchenko is better at some aspects of the game, the discrepancy is not massive – something that is borne out in their underlying numbers.

Leonardo Spinazzola vs Oleksandr Zinchenko

Stats per 90



Non-Penalty Expected Goals + Assists



Progressive Carries



Progresisve Passes






Shots on Target



Pasing Accuracy



Passes into the Penalty Area



Goal-Creating Actions



Tackles + Interceptions



Errors Leading to goal






All Stats via FBref for the 203/24 Domestic Season

For example, while the Arsenal man has better progressive passing numbers and more impressive passing accuracy, he makes fewer passes into the penalty area, fewer progressive passes and has a lower non-penalty expected goal and assists figure per 90.

However, most importantly, Spinazzola has not made a single error leading to a goal this season, which is the primary concern around the former City ace.

Ultimately, with the experienced Italian set to cost so little, there seems to be no downside were Arsenal to sign him this month, especially as he could provide the competition required to get the best back out of Zinchenko or outright replace him if that does not happen.

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