Why Wolves should go all out for Oleksandr Zinchenko in January

According to The Sun, Wolves are plotting a £19million transfer raid on Man City for out-of-favour left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko ahead of the January window.

Italian giants Napoli have also been credited with an interest in the Ukrainian international, who has slipped way down the pecking order at the Etihad. Zinchenko still has several years remaining on his contract at City that runs until 2024. (h/t The Sun)

Profile

A youth exponent of Shakhtar Donetsk, Oleksandr Zinchenko started his professional career with FC Ufa in the Russian Premier League. He made 33 appearances in all competitions over two seasons before being snapped up by Man City in 2016 and was loaned out to Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven.

On his return to the Etihad, Zinchenko made his first-team debut for the Cityzens during the 2017-18 campaign. The versatile left-footed star went on to feature as a key squad player in the club’s back-to-back domestic title triumphs under Pep Guardiola. He made 54 appearances for City over the past two seasons but has found his game time severely restricted this term.

Oleksandr Zinchenko
Wolves are keen to sign Oleksandr Zinchenko in January (Getty Images)

The 23-year-old has started thrice in the group stages of the Champions League but has only made a solitary substitute appearance in the Premier League so far. Zinchenko has, in fact, started more games for Ukraine this season than he has for City, which clearly underlines his diminishing influence in Guardiola’s set-up. 

Zinchenko would be a quality signing for Wolves

Wolves made several changes to their left wing-back department in the summer following a long-term knee injury to Jonny Otto Castro towards the end of the previous campaign.

Fernando Marcal joined the ranks from Lyon while Rayan Ait-Nouri also arrived in West Midlands on loan from Angers. Ruben Vinagre was shipped out on loan to Olympiacos as Nuno Espirito Santo restructured his options on the left-hand side of the pitch. 

However, with Jonny yet return to action and 31-year-old Marcal struggling for consistency, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Wolves to line up further reinforcements in the winter market. A potential deal for Oleksandr Zinchenko, to that end, would represent a shrewd piece of business for the Black Country outfit. 

Zinchenko started his career as an attacking midfielder but has been transformed into a left-back at Man City. The Ukrainian has proven himself as a useful operator in that role over the past couple of campaigns while also featuring as a midfielder. 

Zinchenko
Zinchenko has made 73 appearances for Man City in all competitions (Getty Images)

With Marcal hardly a long-term option at 31, Zinchenko would offer Nuno Santo a solution to his left wing-back conundrum for several seasons. Also, with Joao Moutinho nearing his twilight at 34, the Ukrainian’s versatility to operate as a midfielder could also come in very handy at Molineux. 

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Verdict

Oleksandr Zinchenko hasn’t really been a regular starter at Man City but has shown enough promise to prove that he is capable of thriving in the Premier League. His versatility to play in so many different roles should make him a wonderful addition to the ranks at Molineux. Considering that the 23-year-old still has plenty of room for development, Wolves shouldn’t hesitate to splash the cash on the talented Ukrainian in January. 

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