Former Coventry City striker Dion Dublin has heaped praise on Arsenal star Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Oleksandr Zinchenko produced a fine performance for his country when Ukraine took on England in a Euro 2024 qualifier yesterday.

Zinchenko opened the scoring, before Kyle Walker levelled things up for the Three Lions, as Ukraine battled on to earn a 1-1 draw.

Zinchenko was one of the stand out players on the pitch, lining up against Arsenal teammates Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice.

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As well as playing a starring role in the middle of the park for his country, Zinchenko will have a key role to play as part of the Arsenal rearguard this season. Mikel Arteta deploys the 26-year-old as an inverted left-back, which allows him to drift into midfield and roam into spaces where he can influence how the Gunners build up their attacks.

Zinchenko has been a revelation at Arsenal since his £32 million arrival from Manchester City in the summer of 2022. His introduction to the side at the Emirates Stadium transformed how Arteta’s team play on a tactical level.

He is equally instrumental for Ukraine. Given a more advanced role, he is able to get into the box with greater regularity, as England found out to their cost.

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Fitness is Zinchenko’s biggest challenge

After the match, pundit Dion Dublin credited the Arsenal man’s fine display. Speaking on Channel 4, he said Zinchenko has “been outstanding tonight, gets his country’s a goal as well. Dictates how they play, what pace they play at. They love him, the country loves him.”

The Ukraine fans certainly showed Zinchenko their love, giving him a rapturous ovation. Dublin noted that he is a talismanic figure within the national team set up, saying, “that’s why they’re clapping him, amongst other things.”

The main challenge for Zinchenko this season, for club and country, will be staying fit. He has had a very patchy injury record since his arrival in north London. If Arsenal are to achieve their aims for this season, then Arteta will need Zinchenko to be consistently available for selection.

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