The similarities with Kevin De Bruyne don’t just stop in appearance. An offensive-minded midfielder by nature as well, Olekandr Zinchenko oozes technical and creative quality, but left-back has been the surprising role in which he’s been asked to demonstrate it from this season.
That perhaps wouldn’t be the case if Benjamin Mendy hadn’t suffered a long-term injury at the very start of the campaign, but the 21-year-old has undoubtedly taken his chance to impress Pep Guardiola in an unexpected position, now boasting 13 Premier League appearances there for the champions in waiting.
And while his performance in the 2-0 win over Stoke on Monday night probably wasn’t Zinchenko’s best, it did give an insight into what he offers this City side, especially when Guardiola asks his full-backs to tuck into the midfield when in possession – a recurring tactic away from home this term.
Indeed, Zinchenko had the second-most touches of the ball and completed the second-most passes of any City player, completing an impressive 92% of those he attempted.
Perhaps we’ve become accustomed to seeing a greater dynamism from full-backs in the Premier League, but in terms of retaining possession, the 13-cap Ukrainian – who Transfermarkt value at just £4.05million – has proved himself an incredibly useful tool for Guardiola.
So, City fans, when everybody is fit, who do you see as Guardiola’s best left-back option? Let us know by voting below…