Oleksandr Zinchenko has added the right mentality to the current Arsenal squad, in their pursuit of the Premier League title.
Signed from Manchester City over the summer, Oleksandr Zinchenko is one of the more successful players in Premier League history, having won a record-high percentage of matches to lift four Premier League trophies in five full seasons at City.
Joining Arsenal, many expected his chances of a fifth Premier League title to significantly decrease.
After all, the Gunners have only been fighting for the top four in recent seasons, and even then, it’s been a while since they succeeded.
Yet Zinchenko believed the squad had the quality for a title challenge, even if not everyone took him seriously at first.
“To be honest, when I had just arrived, the quality I saw… obviously I knew the Arsenal team, I knew all of them before, but still I realised on the pitch we have everything to achieve big things,” Zinchenko said.
“I started to speak in the dressing room, saying: ‘Guys, forget top three or whatever, we need to think about the title.’
“Some of them were laughing but no one is laughing now and all of us are dreaming.
“But still there’s a lot of games to play and now you can see [Manchester] United is back. City, as always, is there. Let’s see what is going to happen, but we need to move step by step.”
There’s a long, long way to go for Arsenal to win the Premier League.
The Gunners have had to put together a club-record opening 19 games just to sit five points clear of Manchester City, so they’ll have to do something similar in the second half of the season to have any chance.
Mikel Arteta’s side are yet to play City, and two league defeats to Pep Guardiola’s side would leave the two teams neck and neck even if other results continue to go well. Arsenal need to at least draw those games, if not win them.
After his Player of the Match performance against Manchester United (as voted by Arsenal fans), Zinchenko is one player the Gunners will be relying on in those big games to come.
First things first, Arteta’s side will take a trip to the Etihad for their FA Cup clash next weekend.