Arsenal star Oleksandr Zinchenko gives Mikel Arteta £38m transfer seal of approval | Football | Sport


Arsenal left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko is delighted with Mikel Arteta’s signing of Jurrien Timber from Ajax, even if it gives the Ukrainian more competition in defence at the Emirates. 

Timber arrived in north London from Ajax in a £38million deal, joining both Declan Rice and Kai Havertz at the club as Arsenal splashed over £200m in their quest for Premier League glory this coming season after agonisingly missing out last term.

While it was Rice and Havertz’s signings that grabbed the majority of the headlines due to the hefty sums, Timber’s arrival certainly excited Arsenal supporters, with Arteta now having plenty of strength in depth all over the field.

But Timber isn’t at the Emirates to warm the bench, and is vying for a starting spot in defence. His main rival will be Ben White for the right-back position but he could also slot in at centre-back, while he has also been used on the left with him being more than capable of playing the inverted Zinchenko role thanks to his composure on the ball.

And it appears Zinchenko, currently nursing an injury, isn’t fazed by his arrival but is instead excited about the prospect of playing in the same team as Timber. 

“Maybe he is [similar], but maybe better than me,’ Zinchenko said in an interview for Arsenal’s official programme for the Emirates Cup. “I’m sure he is 100 per cent going to show us what he can do, and will really help us.

“I do know about him because I watched him and followed the way he played at Ajax. Also, I played against him for the national team so I know about him as a player, what amazing qualities he has, and now I know him off the pitch.

“He’s a great guy, another incredible signing for Arsenal who will help us a lot.” And Arsenal fans will be praying their new defender will hit the ground running when the 2023-24 Premier League campaign gets underway next weekend.

The Gunners host Nottingham Forest first up at the Emirates next Saturday afternoon, and Timber is firmly in contention to start with Zinchenko currently a doubt through injury.

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