Mikel Arteta sends message to Arsenal fans over Oleksandr Zinchenko criticism

  • Mikel Arteta has addressed Oleksandr Zinchenko's future at Arsenal
  • Many fans have called for 27-year-old to be moved on this summer
  • Zinchenko currently has two years left on his contract with the Gunners
Zinchenko's future is uncertain at Arsenal
Zinchenko's future is uncertain at Arsenal / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

Mikel Arteta has urged fans to get behind under-fire left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko for the remainder of the season.

The 27-year-old, who has two years left on his contract, has been linked with a move away from Arsenal after showing a drop in form in recent performances, with many fans criticising Zinchenko's showing in the recent defeat to Aston Villa which left the Gunners facing an uphill battle in the Premier League title race.

Ahead of Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg against Bayern Munich, Arteta encouraged fans to remain supportive of Zinchenko.

"I love Alex, he has given us so much," Arteta said.

"He has given us a lot. He's a player with different qualities and an unbelievable courage to play football in any circumstances. As we always demand, stay with our players, give them support because for sure they're going to perform better."

Oleksandr Zinchenko
Arsenal may replace Zinchenko in the summer / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

When asked directly if he had made a decision on Zinchenko's future, the boss said: "The decision is to be focused on the Champions League quarter-finals and to be through."

Zinchenko moved to the Emirates in 2022 after leaving rivals Manchester City. He impressed during his first season in an inverted full-back role and made 33 appearances across all competitions.

This season, a handful of injuries have limited Zinchenko's time on the pitch, with Arteta occasionally turning to centre-back Jakub Kiwior on the left side of his defence.

Recent reports have linked Arsenal with new left-backs this summer, yet it is unknown whether a new signing will be made to outright replace Zinchenko or increase competition. Arteta has long stressed the importance of having two elite options for every position on the pitch.