Arsenal remain without Oleksandr Zinchenko and therefore it has become the time to ask whether we should be worried?
It is just typical that when Arsenal sign a player they immediately begin to have injury issues. Thomas Partey famously arrived from Atletico Madrid without even a hint of an injury on the horizon and yet they have plagued his career.
Oleksandr Zinchenko however did have injury problems at Manchester City and Arsenal signed him in the knowledge that these existed. To be precise, Zinchenko had 16 separate injury-related issues at Man City from knee surgery to calf strains to simple knocks.
In total, Zinchenko missed 65 matches from the 2018/19 season to the previous campaign. That sounds like a lot… because it is.
Yet when the links to the Ukrainian were being discussed, I personally cannot remember much discussion at all around the 25-year-old’s fitness. Instead, it was chat about what he had been like at Man City, where he would play for Arsenal and whether he was the player to take our left-back role forwards.
Perhaps and probably, I am overlooking some discussions in a Twitter thread somewhere but on the whole, I cannot say it was a great focus of the analysis of his potential arrival. That said, Arsenal have been without Zinchenko since the North London Derby at the beginning of the month and Sportupdatehub learned of his absence for tomorrow’s match with PSV whilst attending this morning’s open training session which the defender was not present for.
Mikel Arteta spoke ahead of the game with PSV. Once again he provided little-to-no detail on the state of his squad besides confirming that Marquinhos had not travelled due to illness.
In fact, he gave no insight into the state of Zinchenko whatsoever. A potentially worrying level of silence with the next available opportunity when he addresses the media before the Nottingham Forest game this Sunday.
He joked last week about the player always being in contention. The Spaniard has opted for a far more secretive approach to handling team news so as to not allow the club’s opponents any insight into the potential selection.
So, should we be worried about Zinchenko? There is of course some cause for concern considering the amount of time he has missed but Arteta did say that he expects him to be back before the start of the World Cup.
With Ukraine missing out on the competition, it will mean that Zinchenko will have an extended winter break. Arsenal are planning a warm-weather training camp with the inclusion of some friendly games but it should give the defender plenty of time to fully recover.
However, should his problems return soon into the New Year that is when the concern becomes all that more real. Fingers are crossed this extended period out has been for his benefit and so his next stint in the team will be for the long term.