Arsenal make offer for £50m “huge talent” who could send Zinchenko packing

The Premier League’s winter break could not have come at a better time for Arsenal as, following three losses on the spin, they are sat in fourth place and out of the FA Cup, and to make matters worse, Manchester City are now three points clear of them after winning their game in hand.

There are a plethora of things that have gone wrong for Mikel Arteta’s side, from an attack that scored one goal in three games to a defence that seems to have lost some of its resilience.

With that in mind, it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that the latest name touted for a move to the Emirates could rival Oleksandr Zinchenko for the left-back role, if not displace him altogether.


Arsenal table bid for talented full-back

According to Football Transfers, Arsenal are looking to ‘bolster their left-back position’ and have already made an offer to Wolverhampton Wanderers for their Algerian international Rayan Aït Nouri.

Unfortunately for the Gunners, this offer was rebuffed by the Old Gold as they are said to value the 22-year-old at more than £50m, and worse yet, the Midlands side are said to be in talks with Liverpool regarding the defender.

The full-back’s involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations could further complicate negotiations as, depending on how far Algeria goes in the competition, he could be out of the country until mid-February.


However, with Zinchenko far from his impressive best this season and potentially sidelined for this weekend’s game against Crystal Palace, it might be worth the Gunners pulling out all the stops to get this deal done.

How Rayan Aït Nouri compares to Oleksandr Zinchenko

There is no denying that Zinchenko made a significant and positive impact at Arsenal when he signed from City last summer; from his fantastic passing range to his on-pitch talks and even his interactions with the fans, he looked as if he was a firm fan favourite.

However, with football being as it is, the Ukrainian’s stock has fallen somewhat among the Arsenal faithful this season. A number of high-profile errors have led some pundits, such as Gary Neville, to label him a defensive “liability”.

While this might be somewhat harsh, it is hard to wholeheartedly reject it following his blunders at Anfield both last season and this season, his comical mixup against West Ham United last month and, unfortunately for him, those aren’t the only examples.

So, with this in mind, it might be worth signing another, more defensively impressive left-back to rival the former City man for that starting berth, which is where Aït Nouri comes in.

When comparing the pair’s underlying numbers, it becomes crystal clear that the “huge talent”, as talent scout Jacek Kulig dubbed him, would be a defensive upgrade on the Arsenal man.

Rayan Aït Nouri vs Oleksandr Zinchenko

Stats per 90

Aït Nouri


Non-Penalty Expected Goals + Assists



Progressive Carries



Progressive Passes



Passing Accuracy



Tackles Won









Errors Leading to Goals



Ball Recoveries



All Stats via FBref for the 2023/24 Premier League Season

For example, where Zinchenko has averaged 0.15 errors leading to a goal per 90 this season, Aït Nouri hasn’t made a single error leading to a goal. He also wins more tackles, makes more blocks and clearances, and considerably more ball recoveries per 90.

There are some areas, such as progressive passing, in which Zinchenko is clear of the young Algerian, but with time on his side and the prospect of playing in a better team, he could produce a similar output down the line.


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The 25-year-old could be the perfect partner for Declan Rice.

Ultimately, while Zinchenko is still a quality player, his defensive mistakes are starting to cost Arsenal, and in a title race with City and Liverpool, that isn’t good enough, so the Gunners should do all they can to get this deal over the line.

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