Arsenal: Zinchenko can replace Partey

Arsenal enjoyed a fruitful January transfer window, as they bolstered in key areas to finish the month with a far more well-rounded squad than when they started it.

One deal in particular that turned heads was Mikel Arteta’s decision to sign Jorginho from rivals Chelsea, in a move worth £12m.

With the Italian having struggled to feature consistently for Graham Potter’s side this season, an outfit that are currently wallowing in mid-table, it seemed like a confusing decision especially with Thomas Partey’s injury nowhere near as bad as first expected.

Despite this, the 29-year-old has suffered various ailments during his time in north London, so a viable alternative was needed.

However, instead of splashing the cash on an ageing midfielder who has been used sparingly, the Gunners could have instead employed their £32m summer signing Oleksandr Zinchenko in that role instead.

The Ukraine international, before playing for Manchester City, had been a creative midfielder, but his years at left-back have handed him incredible defensive awareness to pair with his initial qualities.

Is Jorginho a good signing?





As such, he is currently averaging 1.8 tackles and 1.2 clearances per game this campaign.

But what truly outlines him as a dependable asset, more than capable of holding down the midfield next to Granit Xhaka, is his creative qualities. The 26-year-old is comfortably in a league of his own when compared to the other full-backs across Europe, as FBref outlines.

Ranking in the top 1% for progressive passes, the top 5% for pass completion rate and the top 6% for assists per 90, Zinchenko could easily offer a defensively sound stand-in who can still act as the creative heartbeat of this title-chasing side.

Dubbed “unbelievably talented” by BBC journalist Jordan Elgott, the importance he held for Pep Guardiola should only serve to prove this further.

Then, when compared to Jorginho, it is made even clearer why he could have been preferred. 

When compared to other midfielders across Europe, he too ranks in the top 6% for passes attempted. However, his 5.44 progressive passes per 90 is a far cry from the 6.75 of his potential alternative, and he is not nearly as dynamic as Zinchenko either.

Mark Ogden outlined why back in 2019 when he summarised him as: “Neat and tidy, but slow and toothless with his passing.” One of the staples of Arsenal’s season has been their speed in transition, which might now be encumbered by the new man.

Despite all this, it is clear that Arteta has been keen on Jorginho for some time now. Having tried to sign him in the past, he must boast the qualities that, although far from tangible, excite the 40-year-old.

As such, although Zinchenko might be a far better option on paper, given the vast turnaround of his current side fans must remain hopeful that the same can happen for Jorginho.

#Arsenal #Zinchenko #replace #Partey


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