Why Mykola Matviyenko would be a good signing for Arsenal
According to Sky Sports, Arsenal have been told by Shakhtar Donetsk that they would need to cough up £30million to secure the services of defender Mykola Matviyenko, who has impressed in the Champions League this term.
The 23-year-old’s agent has confirmed that the clubs are in talks over a potential transfer for his client, who has only 18 months left on his current contract with Shakhtar. (h/t Sky Sports)
Shakhtar narrowly missed out on a spot in the knockout rounds of the Champions League after finishing third in Group C behind Man City and Atalanta but Matviyenko was amongst those to have caught the eye of bigger clubs across the continent.
A youth exponent of Shakhtar, Matviyenko made his senior professional bow for his boyhood club way back during the 2015-16 season but he had to go through loan spells at fellow Ukrainian top-flight sides, Karpaty Lviv and Vorskla Poltava, before establishing himself as a regular fixture last season.
Matviyenko, who has been capped 26 times by Ukraine at the senior international level, clocked up 27 appearances for Shakhtar Donetsk last season and he has already featured on 21 occasions in all competitions so far this term.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s struggles in the Premier League seem to be far from over even after the appointment of Mikel Arteta, who has only managed to guide the Gunners to a solitary win in six league fixtures so far since taking charge in late December.
A lack of stability at the back had been one of the key reasons behind Unai Emery’s sorry end in North London earlier in the campaign.
The central defensive unit of Sokratis, David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi has failed to achieve the desired levels of consistency at the heart of the defence whilst both first-choice full-backs, Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney, have been peripheral figures in the squad due to their struggles with injuries. Currently placed 10th in the standings, Arsenal are already 10 points adrift of the top-four.
As per Whoscored, the 23-year-old has averaged 54.7 passes per game at an accuracy of 88.7%, including 4.8 long balls, 1.2 tackles, 1.8 aerials duels, 2.5 interceptions and 5.8 clearances per game in the Champions League this term.
Besides their blatant lack of quality in central defence, Arteta has been forced to shoehorn Bukayo Saka at left-back to cover for the injuries to Kolasinac and Tierney. And to that end, Matviyenko would certainly be a shrewd addition.
A fully-fledged Ukrainian international with 26 caps to his name, Arsenal should not hesitate to go all out to sign him.