Arsenal handed huge injury worry before Brentford as Ukraine confirm Oleksandr Zinchenko absence
The Arsenal defender has had a huge influence on the team since joining, but looks set to miss some games
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The Football Federation of Ukraine have confirmed that Oleksandr Zinchenko will miss the upcoming international break due to injury. A statement on the official website claims that the nation’s captain will be absent from the squad due to a calf muscle injury during training.
It represents a huge blow to both Zinchenko and Arsenal after a blistering start from both. The 25-year-old joined from Manchester City in the summer in a deal worth roughly £30million, looking to add both versatility and an improvement in technical ability across the squad.
In his early days, the full-back has managed to oust Kieran Tierney from the left flank as he makes his return from injury, something that the side suffered during the last campaign. On his signing in the summer, Mikel Arteta outlined just how important he could be for the club, claiming: “I know the player really well, he’s an exceptional footballer and he is someone that is going to bring as well another competitive edge to that dressing room.”
“He can play in both [defence and midfield]. He was a natural No. 10 early in his career, and we converted him into a left-back which can do a lot of things that we want in our way of playing.
“That versatility is something that is going to be important for the team because we have players in that position who are more specific full-back, so I’m really happy.”
The 25-year-old has made four Premier League appearances so far, often playing as an inverted full-back in the style of a Pep Guardiola team. That natural ability may be a huge loss, though, after Ukraine confirmed he will not be in their squad due to a calf injury, likely ruling him out of the clash with Brentford on Saturday.
A statement on the official website read: “The midfielder of the national team Oleksandr Zinchenko, unfortunately, will not be able to help the blue-yellow during the September matches UEFA Nations League 2022/2023.
“The player of the London side “Arsenal” suffered a calf muscle injury during training at the club, which will require about two weeks for treatment and recovery. Oleksandr immediately personally informed the head coach of the Ukrainian national team, Oleksandr Petrakov, of the unfortunate news by calling him.”
It leaves Arteta with a gap to fill for the weekend as well as hopes of a speedy recovery due to his importance for the season ahead.