Benjamin Mendy being suspended for the season should have paved the way for Oleksandr Zinchenko to nail down a regular starting place at left-back, but the 25-year-old has found opportunities hard to come by under Pep Guardiola.
Zinchenko made 28 appearances in all competitions this campaign, grabbing five assists. He featured just 15 times in the Premier League from a possible 38, however, as Joao Cancelo was preferred in a makeshift role.
The Ukrainian international was already considering his future at the Etihad Stadium and now faces extra competition at left-back if Marc Cucurella arrives from Brighton & Hove Albion or Rayan Ait-Nouri from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
There’s plenty of Premier League interest in Zinchenko this summer and Noel Whelan believes a move would suit all parties. He told Football Insider: “I really like Zinchenko. When you look at the depth they have in midfield and the wide areas, he probably could be surplus to requirements if Cucurella comes in.
“He’s your natural, wide wing-back that can play both of those roles. Zinchenko, I think defensively, is not a natural wing-back. City were going to go get that one piece of the puzzle that plays box-to-box, so Cucurella’s your man. That forges an opening for Zinchenko to get more regular football at a European club.”
The 25-year-old joined City from Ufa in 2016 and has gone on to make 128 appearances in all competitions, scoring two goals with 12 assists. He’s been a brilliant servant in the last six years, but it’s clear Guardiola no longer trusts him.
Cancelo is a natural right-back and plays at left-back ahead of Zinchenko. City are on the hunt for Mendy’s replacement as Zinchenko isn’t deemed good enough to take his place, so the writing is on the wall.
Vital City are looking to recruit a new writer for the site. If you are a fan of the club and can commit to writing 3—5 articles at least 4 days per week then we would love to hear from you. Mail email@example.com for more information.