FPL

FPL new signings: Will Zinchenko be ‘out of position’ at Arsenal?

Oleksandr Zinchenko‘s (£5.0m) move to Arsenal has seen his Fantasy Premier League (FPL) ownership climb past the 10% mark.

As a result, the Ukraine international is now a more popular purchase than Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) and every other Gunners defender in FPL.

Is Arsenal’s £30m new signing worthy of the newfound Fantasy interest, then? We’ll assess his appeal in this Moving Target piece.

WHAT PLAYER AND MANAGER HAVE SAID

“He can play in both (defence and midfield). He was a natural No. 10 early in his career and we converted him into a left-back which can do a lot of things that we want in our way of playing.

“That versatility is something that is going to be important for the team because we have players in that position who are more specific full-back so I’m really happy.” – Mikel Arteta

“He’s a player that I personally know really well and continued to follow him after my time at Manchester City. Alex is a high-quality player who will give us options and versatility. It’s not only about the positions he can play but as well, the versatility he will give us in attack and defence. Alex is a person with great human qualities and character, and I’m delighted that everyone has made this huge effort to bring Alex to the club.” – Mikel Arteta

“[My best position is] wherever the manager is going to see me on the pitches. It’s the simple answer but it’s true, even if the manager tells me one day I need to be goalkeeper, I will be there.

Yes, we spoke about my role in this team, but I would like to keep it private and then we are going to see.” – Oleksandr Zinchenko

“He was desperate to play and I knew that. It was a maximum 45 minutes but you could see straight away he was comfortable. He understands everything that I want, he understands the process and I thought he had a really good game.” – Mikel Arteta after Oleksandr Zinchenko’s debut v Chelsea

ZINCHENKO’S HISTORY

SeasonFPL pointsMinutes playedStartsSub appsGoals scoredAssistsClean sheetsBonusStarting priceEnd price
2021/225910441050454£5.5£5.3
2020/216914731550085£5.5£5.5
2019/204912711360061£5.5£5.2
2018/194411511400391£5.0£4.7
2017/1816530620030£5.0£5.0
2016/1700000000£5.5£5.3

Never starting more than 15 Premier League games in a season and not stringing together more than four successive league appearances since the beginning of 2019/20, we haven’t really been able to take a sustained look at Zinchenko as an FPL asset.

The complete absence of goals is notable, while the assist count is modest, too – although four of those did arrive in 2021/22 from just 10 starts and five substitute appearances.

Virtually all of his City run-outs came at left-back, with opportunities to shine in midfield few and far between.

That wasn’t the case at his first club, Ufa, where the bulk of his 31 Russian top-flight appearances came in either a central, wide or attacking midfield role. Two goals and four assists came from those showings before he left, as a teenager, to join City.

And as for international duty, the Ukraine captain is almost exclusively used in central midfield.

A more eye-catching eight goals have arrived from his 52 caps, with his attacking potential showcased in last summer’s Euro 2020 quarter-final against Sweden.

WHERE WILL HE FIT IN AT ARSENAL?

Left-back or a left-sided number 8?

We’ll probably see Zinchenko in both positions during his time in north London but at the moment, the strong indications are that he will start the season at left-back.

Kieran Tierney (£5.0m) is now back in training but the injury-prone Scot has missed a big chunk of pre-season, featuring for only half an hour against Nurnberg on July 8 before fitness issues caused him to disappear from view again.

Zinchenko was indeed used at left-back in the thrashing of Chelsea, impressing in his 45-minute showing with his passing in particular.

There is, in fact, one more key quote we haven’t brought you yet from Arteta, which the Arsenal boss delivered a week ago.

“His main position is left-back but within that position and within the formation that we have he can alter and occupy different spaces on the pitch and this is the main quality he has.” – Mikel Arteta

What Arteta said above about Zinchenko occupying “different spaces” was evident against Chelsea: on some occasions he would tuck into central midfield or occupy the half-spaces, on others he would stick wider and bomb forward when left-winger Gabriel Martinelli (£6.0m) drifted infield.

Encouragingly, there were sights of Zinchenko in the opposition box, be it an underlapping run or some back-post loitering when play was being built up on the right.

With existing left-back options Tierney and Nuno Tavares (£4.5m) more at home hugging the touchline, Zinchenko’s arrival allows Arteta the option of further emulating his mentor Pep Guardiola’s ‘inverted full-back’ tactics.

“Zinchenko’s versatility has been particularly beneficial given the way Guardiola uses his full-backs. The City manager looked to invert his full-backs from the very early stages of his tenure at the Etihad, which his former City No 2 Arteta has attempted to replicate since getting the Arsenal job in December 2019, but mostly just with his right-backs. 

“Takehiro Tomiyasu has emerged as the most comfortable aiding build-up play in more central areas of the pitch but Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have also tried to meet their manager’s demands over the past two and a half years.” – Art de Roche/Mark Carey, The Athletic

When we do see Zinchenko in midfield, it’ll likely be at the expense of Granit Xhaka (£5.0m), whose limitations as a number eight even Arteta admitted to last season. The reported pursuit of Lyon’s Lucas Paqueta, however, suggests that the Arsenal boss wants even more options in the engine room for his dream 4-3-3 set-up.

ZINCHENKO IN DEFENCE: THE STATS

FPL pre-season: Trossard hits hat-trick from wing-back role 2

657 Comments Post a Comment
  1. OneMan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    10 days, 4 mins ago

    Guess who will have the most points in FPL after gw6 ?

    1. Bartowski
      • 11 Years
      10 days, 3 mins ago

      Me?

      1. Debauchy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        10 days ago

        Get innnn

    2. MyNameIsBigManRedro
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      9 days, 23 hours ago

      One of Magnus Carlsen, Fabio Borges or Poseidon

    3. SynergyX
        9 days, 12 hours ago

        U have they honour of meeting him rn

    4. puhd
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      10 days, 2 mins ago

      Here goes my team! Any thoughts much appreciated.

      Emerson (Gazz)
      TAA Cash Dias (Tripper Verstergard)
      Salah Madisson Martinelli Rash Neto
      Haaland Jesus (Greenwood)

      Thanks and good luck to everyone!

      1. ddp
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        9 days, 7 hours ago

        Vestergaard doesn't play, he's a backup bench warmer.

    5. Ser Davos
      • 7 Years
      10 days, 1 min ago

      Championship's on!!

    6. Thoughts on this badboy? Three premiums without Salah

      Sanchez
      Trent Cancelo Zinch Trippier
      Son Diaz Martinelli Bailey
      Kane Haaland

      (Steele Andreas Neco Plange)

      1. Ser Davos
        • 7 Years
        9 days, 23 hours ago

        different and interesting. Could be inspired

        Forget Sanchez though. Doesn't even make dullard status

        Raya/Henderson are the best keepers I think. Meslier/Leeds unknown

        1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          9 days, 23 hours ago

          Is Raya still first choice? They signed a new keeper, Thomas Strakosha
          Henderson would mean a double up since Neco is there..
          Will consider it.. thanks!

      2. puhd
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        9 days, 23 hours ago

        I like it. Maybe change the goalie?

        1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          9 days, 23 hours ago

          Gonna look in to it.. cheers mate.

      3. West End Exile
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        9 days, 20 hours ago

        Meslier in for Sanchez?

    7. @Bryan
      • 12 Years
      9 days, 23 hours ago

      Thoughts on Callum Wilson? I think i'm settling into a 3-4-3 as it is my comfort blanket, one big striker (Kane or Haaland), Jesus and then the third spot is a shootout between Mitro and Wilson.

      Wilson is one of those players who I tend to just slot in when fit and let him tick over until he picks up an injury. Fixtures aren't great, but I know what I get with him.

      Mitro fixtures also not great, but 1m cheaper and I expect him to also tick over.

      1. Tomerick
        • 8 Years
        9 days, 23 hours ago

        Too expensive and very likely to get injured.

        1. puhd
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          9 days, 23 hours ago

          This

      2. Bushwhacker
        • 3 Years
        9 days, 21 hours ago

        You can't compare Wilson and Mitro historically ; one scores for fun, the other couldn't hit a barn door in the Prem. IF Wilson stays fit . . early fixtures aren't bad at all and Newcastle will be scoring a lot more than Fulham.

      3. EugeMurts
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        9 days, 19 hours ago

        Wilson is quality and will score pints when fit

    8. Slouch87
      • 6 Years
      9 days, 23 hours ago

      Anyone know who is first choice GK at Brentford?

      1. Ser Davos
        • 7 Years
        9 days, 23 hours ago

        It's definitely Raya

        1. Ser Davos
          • 7 Years
          9 days, 23 hours ago

          often when there's a seed of doubt about a 4.5's starting place they then end up the best option eg Begovic v Sorensen 12-13

        2. Slouch87
          • 6 Years
          9 days, 23 hours ago

          Thanks

          1. Ser Davos
            • 7 Years
            9 days, 23 hours ago

            You're welcome. Source: Brentford Director of Football spoke to an FPL YTber

            1. mox81
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              9 days, 22 hours ago

              Thanks, also Raya is a great keeper, the question marks baffle me. That said, Ramsdale for 0.5m more? Sold.

    9. Bartowski
      • 11 Years
      9 days, 23 hours ago

      Don't think this bodes well for our Martial Plan:

      https://twitter.com/FabrizioRomano/status/1553087813075320834

      1. MyNameIsBigManRedro
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        9 days, 23 hours ago

        Did he just… call himself ‘the king’?

        1. Bartowski
          • 11 Years
          9 days, 23 hours ago

          Yes, I'm afraid so. I'm going to rule out any Man U player on the basis of that alone. Can you actually imagine having to deal with that...

          1. MyNameIsBigManRedro
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            9 days, 23 hours ago

            Haha true!

      2. zon
        • 7 Years
        9 days, 23 hours ago

        Or United plans

      3. Ser Davos
        • 7 Years
        9 days, 23 hours ago

        So little Utd action in my drafts I don't know how their kit shows up on FPL

    10. Ser Davos
      • 7 Years
      9 days, 23 hours ago

      Blimey, Burnley look a bit bare

    11. navraj01
      • 5 Years
      9 days, 23 hours ago

      thoughts on this team 442
      ederson
      taa james trippier cancelo
      salah bailey sancho odegaard
      haaland jesus

      1. puhd
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        9 days, 23 hours ago

        Not sure about your mids except for Salah of course

    12. sirmorbach
      • 6 Years
      9 days, 23 hours ago

      What are your stubborn picks—players that are non-negotiable for you just because, even though people might advise you against it?

      Mine is Bruno Guimarães. Eye test, and an irrational hunch saying he'll do well again this season.

      1. gogs67
        • 1 Year
        9 days, 22 hours ago

        Struggling to drop Vardy.

      2. tigershark
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        9 days, 22 hours ago

        same

      3. West End Exile
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        9 days, 20 hours ago

        Saka - he's been in every draft, something won't let me leave him out.

      4. tom66
        • 10 Years
        9 days, 18 hours ago

        Sancho....yes Rashford is 1.0 cheaper but I think Sancho is looking decent

      5. Brewstercat
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        9 days, 17 hours ago

        Maddison for me! Just a hunch he’ll go big at home v Brentford

        1. Brewstercat
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          9 days, 17 hours ago

          But watch me transfer him out 5 mins before deadline

          1. Geraaaard
            • 2 Years
            9 days, 4 hours ago

            Zinchenko!

      6. DonaldDrapier
        • 2 Years
        9 days, 4 hours ago

        Kevin De Bruyne. As for points per minutes played he is no worse than anyone. Now he is fresh and fit and possibly playing closer to goal.

        Going without Salah as he is so expensive and locks out a valuable Liverpool slot!

    13. TM44
      • 7 Years
      9 days, 23 hours ago

      Thoughts on this team?

      Raya

      TAA cancelo Williams

      Rashford salah sancho Diaz Martinelli

      Kane Jesus

      Bench: forster, greenwood, vestergard, patterson

      1. Mr. O'Connell hates DG…
        • 10 Years
        9 days, 23 hours ago

        I'd want to upgrade one of those 4m defenders. Rash and/or Sancho look like the fall guys.

        1. Pad Randa (The OG)
          • 10 Years
          9 days, 21 hours ago

          Yeah, I would not double up on United midfield.

      2. Brewstercat
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        9 days, 17 hours ago

        Agree - I go for Utd and still wouldn’t double up on our mids. You could drop Rashford to Neto and upgrades Williams

    14. FCSB
      • 6 Years
      9 days, 23 hours ago

      If Chelsea CS tonight a lot of defences will change hehe

      1. mox81
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        9 days, 22 hours ago

        Fingers crossed, they've looked a right mess so far

    15. Pad Randa (The OG)
      • 10 Years
      9 days, 21 hours ago

      Wonder how well this team would do:

      Meslier (Klaesson)
      VvD - Trippier - Zinchenko - Darlot - Neco
      KdB - Salah - Bailey (Andreas, Arter)
      Kane - Haaland (Plange)

      1. Pad Randa (The OG)
        • 10 Years
        9 days, 21 hours ago

        Dalot, even

    16. AntarcticGorilla
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      9 days, 20 hours ago

      Which 13m combo?

      A) Zinchenko (or other 5m) + Diaz
      B) Robertson + Martinelli

      I feel like B is objectively better but A has more flexible price points...

      1. Die Hard
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        9 days, 19 hours ago

        B

    17. Gozzys Galacticos
      • 6 Years
      9 days, 12 hours ago

      What do you think?

      Pope Henderson
      Cash Tomiyasu Perisic TAA Neco
      Martinelli KDB Guimaraes Da Silva Andreas
      Kane Haaland Jesus

      1. Geraaaard
        • 2 Years
        9 days, 4 hours ago

        No cancelo?

    18. Geraaaard
      • 2 Years
      9 days, 4 hours ago

      If you could only pick one for your fpl team,
      Son or Haaland?

    19. vassiriki
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      9 days, 2 hours ago

      guys im taking a very different approach compared to the template teams and i need opinions. any suggestions would be welcome

      travers-rodak
      james-taa-cancelo-robertson-williams
      de bruyne-son-odegaard-bailey-pereira
      jesus-martial-greenwood

      im just not very sure on martial but no salah is due to no mane. i believe manes penetration and his created disturbance on the defenders was extremely beneficial for salah. i believe without him, liverpools attack will be effected (at least in the beginning). plus son and a fit de bruyne can quite catch salah this season imho.

    20. givvy predictions
        8 days, 3 hours ago

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