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Arsenal: Mikel Arteta dealt Oleksandr Zinchenko blow

Arsenal have been dealt an injury blow ahead of their Europa League meeting with FK Bodo/Glimt this evening.

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That’s according to a report by the Evening Standard, who claim that, after missing the reverse fixture with the Norwegian side last week, as well as the 3-2 win over Liverpool as a result of a muscle injury, Oleksandr Zinchenko is once again expected to be unavailable for selection at The Emirates this evening.

The report goes on to state that the Gunners’ £32m summer signing will continue to be assessed ahead of the club’s trip to Leeds United on Sunday afternoon – something that would appear to suggest the 25-year-old defender could also be a doubt for the weekend.

Big blow for Arteta

Considering just how important a part of the Arsenal side Zinchenko has already proven himself to be since his summer switch to north London, the Ukraine international’s continued absence ahead of the Bodo/Glimt fixture is undoubtedly bad news for Mikel Arteta and his side.

Indeed, over his five Premier League appearances so far this season, the £30.5m-rated talent has been in exceptional defensive form for the Gunners, making an average of 1.8 tackles, one interception, one clearance and winning 3.8 duels – at a success rate of 68% – per game.

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The full-back has also impressed going forwards, providing his teammates with one assist, in addition to making an average of 0.4 key passes, taking 0.8 shots and completing 0.4 dribbles per game.

These returns have seen the 52-cap international average an extremely impressive WhoScored match rating of 6.94, currently ranking him as Arsenal’s seventh-best performer in the top flight of English football in 2022/23 – a quite remarkable feat for a player who joined the club a matter of months ago.

Furthermore, it is clear that Arteta is a huge admirer of Zinchenko’s ability, with the 40-year-old stating of the defender back in July (via GOAL):

Do you think Zinchenko has been a good signing for Arsenal?

Yes

Yes

No

No

“First of all, his mentality. He’s used to winning – winning is the only thing and winning in the right way. He’s a perfectionist and a really demanding boy, I know him so well, and after that, he brings qualities that we didn’t have in the squad. He gives us a different option to play within the role in different spaces, and I’m really happy to have him.”

As such, it is clear to see that the Ukrainian’s continued absence will have come as a big blow to the Spaniard and his side, who will undoubtedly be hoping that they can continue their unbeaten European record in 22/23 with yet another positive result against Bodo/Glimt this evening – albeit without Zinchenko’s help.

Article title: Arsenal: Mikel Arteta dealt Oleksandr Zinchenko blow

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