Why Wolves over Fulham would be the ideal destination for Oleksandr Zinchenko
Although Zinchenko has jetted off with Manchester City for their US tour, he is still expected to leave the club this summer. City have reportedly accepted a bid of £16million from Wolves for the 21-year-old, while Fulham are keen to hijack the deal and sign the player.
Zinchenko, 21, made his breakthrough at City last term, playing 14 games, mainly as a makeshift left-back, and had hoped to build on from a promising start. However, with City completing the record £60million signing Riyad Mahrez, Pep Guardiola is reportedly ready to let the midfielder leave Etihad.
Given that the 21-year-old’s opportunities in his favoured attacking midfield role look almost impossible to come by, Guardiola used the player at left wing-back role and surprisingly, Zinchenko shined. He thrived in the left wing-back position, making the area his own when the likes of Benjamin Mendy and Fabian Delph were injured. However, with Mendy and Delph fit and set to return to the team in a few weeks’ time, Zinchenko’s chances of playing regular football next season will come at a premium.
Hence, Zinchenko must leave the Premier League champions and join a club where he can play regularly and unlock his potential. Wolves can certainly provide him with the platform to showcase his talent and if Nuno Espirito Santo succeeds in signing Zinchenko this summer, it would arguably be a fantastic statement of intent ahead of the new season. The Ukrainian started only six games under Guardiola last season and showed glimpses of real quality of what he could achieve if given a significant amount of opportunities.
Zinchenko is one of the most sought-after young talents across Europe and while he is a central midfielder by trade, the 21-year-old can also play on either flank, in a No.10 role, or as a wing-back. Due to his versatility, the 21-year-old would be such a valuable player for the Molineux-based club.
The opportunity to play week in, week out will only improve Zinchenko’s already undeniable talent. Under the watchful eyes of Santo, the Ukrainian would thrive and form a lethal midfield combo with the excellent Ruben Neves. If needed, Santo can also use the 21-year-old at the left wing-back position in his preferred 3-4-3 system.
Hence, the West Midlands outfit must go all guns blazing to sign Zinchenko and City must not hesitate to offload him this summer.