Around this time last year, everything was going wrong at Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta’s side lost their first three games of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign, failing to score a single goal and conceding nine in the process.
Things looked incredibly bleak back then, but there’s now a cloud of positivity hanging over the north London club after an impressive start to the new season.
Summer signing Gabriel Jesus was the star of the show, the Brazilian bagging two goals and recording as many assists on his competitive home debut.
Jesus’ former teammate at Manchester City, Oleksandr Zinchenko, also started the match for Arsenal and the Ukrainian produced another tidy performance.
Operating at left-back, the versatile 25-year-old was tidy in possession and looked very assured when asked to defend.
Zinchenko’s partnership with young sensation Gabriel Martinelli is also blossoming nicely, as was highlighted in one brilliant moment involving the pair.
At the start of the second half when Arsenal were leading 2-0, Zinchenko managed to feed his teammate right by the touchline with one of the best nutmegs we’ll see in the whole of the 2022/23 season.
Check out the moment of magic…
Video: Zinchenko’s sensational nutmeg vs Leicester
Stop that Zinchenko. pic.twitter.com/i0lnaTCAzS— Stop That Football (@stopthatfooty) August 15, 2022
A nutmeg worthy of Ronaldinho or Neymar from Zinchenko – absolutely unreal!
Now we know why City right-back Kyle Walker named Ukraine’s captain as one of the best three technicians he played with last season, the other two being Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva.
“He’s incredible… he’s incredible,” Walker said about Zinchenko in a recent interview with famous YouTuber Timbsy. “Two touches, head tennis, he’s so good, so so good.
“But then you’re leaving out the likes of [Kevin] De Bruyne, Phil Foden, [Jack] Grealish, [Joao] Cancelo. But they don’t come close to those three.”
The signing of Zinchenko for just £32 million is already looking like a masterstroke by Arsenal and the fee paid for him is firmly in ‘bargain’ territory – especially when you remember he’s still just 25.
Manchester United handed nearly twice as much to Ajax for Lisandro Martinez, who’s just one year younger and had no previous Premier League experience.
After years of questionable dealings, Arsenal have nailed their recruitment strategy and that’s why they’re a team on the up.