Arsenal defender Oleksandr Zinchenko has returned to training.
Oleksandr Zinchenko has been struggling with a fitness issue, but is now seemingly back in full training with the rest of the Arsenal first team.
The Ukrainian left-back took to Instagram and posted a message saying “Great to be back.” alongside a clenched fist emoji and a photograph of himself alongside Folarin Balogun, William Saliba, Fabio Vieira, Reiss Nelson, Aaron Ramsdale, Albert Sambi Lokonga, and Takehiro Tomiyasu at the Gunners’ London Colney training facility.
Mikel Arteta will be hoping that Zinchenko will be fit and available for his side’s clash with Crystal Palace on Monday night.
Given Jurrien Timber’s recent injury, there is a question mark over who will start at left-back, given Kieran Tierney could be moved on this summer and was left out of the match-day squad against Nottingham Forest. Zinchenko’s availability would solve this problem for Arteta.
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Zinchenko’s return a huge boost for Arsenal
The 26-year-old was a revelation at the Emirates Stadium last season, following his £32 million move from Manchester City. Zinchenko revolutionised the way the left-back role was utilised in Arteta’s team, as he regularly inverted into midfield to combine with the likes of Granit Xhaka, Martin Odegaard, and Gabriel Martinelli further up the pitch.
Zinchenko makes Arsenal’s build up play more fluent and unpredictable. If they can keep him fit and in good form, he has the capacity to have a huge influence for the Gunners throughout this season.
Arsenal’s left hand side, despite Martinelli providing the assist for Eddie Nketiah’s opening goal, wasn’t particularly dynamic against Nottingham Forest, especially after Tomiyasu came on to replace Timber. Zinchenko’s return to the starting XI will add extra impetus and cutting edge in that part of the pitch.