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Zinchenko’s love of Arsenal almost got him sacked by Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk

15:02 GMT 12/12/2022
Oleksandr Zinchenko Arsenal 2022-23
Oleksandr Zinchenko has revealed that his love of Arsenal almost got him sacked when starting out in the academy system at Shakhtar Donetsk.
  • Ukrainian always wanted to play for Gunners
  • Got his wish in the summer of 2022
  • Now chasing down Premier League title glory

WHAT HAPPENED? The versatile 25-year-old spent time within the youth system of a heavyweight outfit in his homeland when taking his first tentative steps towards forging a successful career in the game. It was during that time that ambitions of representing Premier League heavyweights first formed, with Zinchenko’s willingness to openly express his support for the Gunners getting him into trouble.

WHAT THEY SAID: Zinchenko has told Sky Sports of an incident that saw him name Arsenal as his dream club when quizzed by Shakhtar’s media team as a 14-year-old on his ultimate career ambition: “He said: 'We need to film it again because the club is going to sack you!' They told me: 'Just say you want to play for Shakhtar, not Arsenal!' It was so funny, I need to find that video!"

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Zinchenko fulfilled his childhood dream in the summer of 2022 when joining Arsenal from Manchester City, with a £30 million ($37m) transfer taking him from the reigning Premier League champions to ambitious title hopefuls in north London.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Arsenal are currently sat at the top of the Premier League table, with 12 wins and 37 points taken from 14 games so far. Mikel Arteta’s side will be back in action on December 26 when taking in a derby date with West Ham.