Man City signing Zinchenko’s 23-year-old compatriot would stabilise struggling defence

Why Manchester City should make a move for Mykola Matviyenko

According to The Athletic (h/t Daily Mail), Manchester City are eyeing a move for Ukrainian defender Mykola Matviyenko this month.

Matviyenko, 23, came through the ranks of Shakhtar Donetsk’s youth system and initially failed to breakthrough at the senior level. Later on, loan spells at Karpaty and Vorskla helped him gain confidence and since his return to his parent club, he has been a consistent member of the squad.

This season, he has been a regular under Luis Castro, playing in 14 Premier Liga games, and all of the six games in the Champions League group stages, including the two fixtures against Pep Guardiola’s side.

Meanwhile, City have almost lost the race to retain the Premier League title and are 14 points adrift of league leaders Liverpool. They currently find themselves in 3rd place.

Mykola Matviyenko raising his hand in celebration (Getty Images)
Mykola Matviyenko raising his hand in celebration (Getty Images)

Their loss to Wolves last month has made it five losses for them in the ongoing campaign, a reminder that they have not been dominant like they were in the last two seasons.

One of the major reasons for their downfall has been their defensive struggles throughout the season. Guardiola failed to replace Vincent Kompany last summer and Aymeric Laporte’s ACL injury left them in shatters.

They leaked in goals at a consistent rate and their woes seem to continue without a solid partnership in the heart of the defence.

City are defensively weak, with John Stones’ inconsistency and Nicolas Otamendi’s error-prone nature has not convinced the manager to regularly make him start. A shaky backline has seen opponents humiliate Guardiola’s team, just like Wolves, who did it twice successively.

Mykola Matviyenko (R) in action for Ukraine against Serbia (Getty Images)
Mykola Matviyenko (R) in action for Ukraine against Serbia (Getty Images)

This area must be addressed by City’s manager as early as this month and Mykola Matviyenko would fit the bill perfectly. His contract with Shakhtar runs down at the end of 2021 season and he would cost the Etihad outfit less if they go for him.

The Ukrainian has taken great strides in his development and under the guidance of Guardiola, who is known to nurture young talents into future prospects, he can perfectly sharpen his skills each day.

He has the ability to play anywhere in the backline and this versatility would help the manager get the best out of him in difficult situations.

The 23-year-old is highly regarded within his club and a move to the Etihad Stadium would help him reconnect with his national teammate Oleksandr Zinchenko, who is also a quality player with huge talent under his belt.

Mykola Matviyenko (Getty Images)
Mykola Matviyenko (Getty Images)

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Verdict

At 23, Matviyenko may not have established himself at one of the bests but he can surely grow to become a crucial member for City given his talent and potential. His international experience would certainly help him in his development.

Therefore, City must go all out to secure his services and if guided in the right direction, the Saky-born talent can represent the Cityzens in the long run.

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Written by Indhrajit James

Hi, I am Indhrajit James from the Soul of India, Odisha. An English graduate who worships the incredible game of football. An avid follower of European football, playing and discussing this game is something that I cannot take out of my life.
Follow me on Facebook @Indhrajit

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