Oleksandr Zinchenko is aiming to prove to Pep Guardiola that he can offer long-term competition to Benjamin Mendy at left-back amid links with potential new signings for Manchester City.
Zinchenko played as a winger and attacking midfielder prior to becoming a squad player in City’s senior side, but he has invariably been used as a left-back by Guardiola.
Serious injuries to Mendy both last season and this term have given Zinchenko opportunities to impress and he earned praise from Guardiola after playing the full 120 minutes in Sunday’s EFL Cup final penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea.
The Spaniard applauded his attitude and called him “incredible”, with the Ukrainian having made a commendable 17 appearances as a back-up player.
City have been strongly linked with Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell, with the club reportedly concerned about Mendy’s susceptibility to injuries, but Zinchenko is battling to prove he can be the Frenchman’s deputy instead.
It’s the longest run of wins from the start of a player’s career in the competition’s history pic.twitter.com/8yTzkfaZaV
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 28, 2019
“We will see what happens, but I am ready to fight for this place,” said Zinchenko, who was close to joining Wolves at the start of the season.
“I want to learn from all of them in this club and I just try and take the best from them.
“Of course, there is a pleasure when the manager like Pep is talking about you like this, but I don’t read the newspapers, I just have to be fully focused on my game.
“It was always my dream to play for this club. It is a big pleasure to be part of it and I want to try to do my best. I want to be here.
“When you play regularly you will get it and be in form and get this rhythm. Always you want to play more, but it is what it is. You have to work hard.”
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