'Nearly there' - Zinchenko delivers fitness update ahead of Arsenal resuming Premier League title bid
- Ukrainian joined Gunners from Man City
- Has struggled for full fitness
- Arteta's side top of the table at Christmas
WHAT HAPPENED? The Gunners moved to snap up the versatile Ukraine international over the summer, with his Premier League title-winning experience prised away from Manchester City. The 25-year-old has been restricted to just nine appearances in all competitions, and only seven starts in the English top-flight, but he claims to be ready to make an impact when domestic action resumes after the 2022 World Cup break.
WHAT THEY SAID: Zinchenko has told Sky Sports on his fitness: “You know, I have a little muscle tightness, but I’m nearly there, so don’t worry about this. Obviously I’m also working hard to get my fitness back and to be with the team as quickly as I can. It’s the worst feeling to be fair… for every footballer to be out of the team. And yeah, in the last couple of months, I was struggling a lot but I hope everything is in the past already. And now, I’m fully focused and so excited for the rest of the season.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: While Mikel Arteta will be delighted to have Zinchenko at his disposal, another summer signing from City – Gabriel Jesus – has been forced to undergo surgery on a knee injury picked up on World Cup duty with Brazil. Zinchenko added on his stricken team-mate: “I said already that we are all behind him. We are all supporting him. Of course it’s a big miss for our team, and the impact what he’s doing for the club is amazing. I know him for a while – he’s a big warrior and I’m 100% sure that he’ll be back much, much stronger.”
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WHAT NEXT? Premier League leaders Arsenal, who are currently taking in a number of friendly outings to keep them sharp, will be back in competitive action when facing London rivals West Ham on December 26.