Thursday, May 30, 2024

Jesus confirms he was Arsenal’s ‘secret agent’ in Zinchenko talks

During the international break, Oleksandr Zinchenko revealed to the Footballers Lives podcast that Gabriel Jesus knocked on his door while Edu and Mikel Arteta were in the garden trying to persuade him to join Arsenal.

Recounting the story, he said: “Suddenly, someone rings my bell. I said, ‘Sorry, guys, I need to open the door to see, maybe it’s a delivery’ and there was just Gabriel Jesus behind my gate and I was just nah, this is a joke, you know.”


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On the cusp of committing his own future to the Gunners, the Brazil international was invited to be a ‘secret agent’ by Edu who was keen to get a deal for the Ukrainian over the line as quickly as possible.

Three weeks later, Zinchenko signed on the dotted line during Arsenal’s pre-season training camp in the USA.

A bromance forged at the Etihad continues to go from strength to strength at the Emirates with both players fundamental to Arteta’s project.

Facing the media ahead of the Gunners’ Champions League group stage opener against PSV, Jesus shed further light on his unscheduled visit to Zinchenko’s abode.

“I was in Manchester at home with my family and I was supposed to come to London the day after by car.

“Edu just text me and said they were going to Zina’s house and if I want to come, to join them, to talk with Zina and then I can go by plane [to London] with them. So I said, okay!

“I went there, talked with him and he was surprised, you know.

“If I helped a little bit about his decision to come, I’m happy because I like him as a player and a person. I treat him as a brother.

“I’m very happy he came. It’s paying off for him now, he’s playing good, he’s playing every time and more than this, he’s very happy.

“I just said to him, ‘You have to take a decision like I did.” He did it and I’m happy with this. He was a little bit like, I need to talk with my wife first, things like this, but he took the decision. I think if you ask him, I think it was the right one.”

We definitely think it was the right one…

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This was an amazing deal for Arsenal. I love watching him play, his understanding of his role is incredible.

Man Manny

For me, Zinchenko is the lubricant in the Arsenal engine. His typical heat map reveals he works his way into every part of that engine to get it purring as it should. His injuries/loss of form towards the end of the season is arguably the major reason we fell away.


Slightly less than Saliba’s loss, though still impactful

Man Manny


Teryima Adi

We need a Zinchenko spare part then since Timber is out injured.😀

Ponsonby Gooner

Lots of players now play the inverted fall ball role, but I guess Zinchenko was the first? Not sure there’s anyone that can do it as well as him when he’s on form. Brilliant player that’s great to watch with great character. V lucky to have him at the Arsenal.

Wanyama iv

I think Philip Lahm did it at Bayern under Pep. So it’s highly improbable Zinchenko was the first.


Did Zinny play that role at City before Cancelo? Either way Lahm and Alaba did it for Pep at Bayern much before that and I don’t think Zinchenko is at their level quite yet, perhaps offensively.

Apparently some chap was already playing that way under Cruyff back when he was managing Barca (with Pep as his midfielder) but that’s a smidge before my time…

Wanyama iv

Cruyff’s Barca had Koeman playing in a role a bit similar to John Stones’ at city last season.

I have my reservations as to whether he used inverted fullbacks in that system.

A Different George

You know, saying that Zinchenko isn’t at their level (yet) isn’t exactly a putdown. Lahm was one the best players I have ever seen; I mean first 11 with Pele and stuff. Alaba a step below–only one of the best of his generation.


Exactly, not a put down at all. We’re only talking about two of the best defenders that ever lived imo. Zinchenko is amazing, and honestly he might only need to clean up some of those occasional defensive errors (and maybe win us a couple of🏆) to deserve getting mentioned in the same conversation as them.


I’d like to see Zinchenko play in midfield more often. Let’s be honest: he’s a midfielder who moonlights at left-back at Arsenal.

For certain games, say at tough away grounds, we should play an orthodox left-back and stick Zinny in the middle.

Say? Whatever happened to Tierney?


I’ve worked it out. Fats is actually Fat Sam Allardyce…


I’m with you


Probably that’s the reason for bringing in Timber , so Zinchenko can play other roles when needed.


Or maybe Arteta out! eh?

Santiago Phonebox

Well that’s the whole point innit, an extra midfield player.

A Different George

A lot of people have said something like this, and in my opinion it misses the point. The whole idea of an “inverted fullback” and every analogous situation (such as a centre half like Stones coming into the midfield for City) is to have an *extra* player in the midfield when in possession. The coaches who do this (more and more, obviously) think that this allows control of the midfield and therefore of the match. Yes, Zinchenko has the skills to play as a midfielder and, if we were actually short in that position, he could do that job.


Whilst I’m happy he joined, I’m curious if this is considered ‘tapping up’? What’s the difference between this and Mourinho meeting Ashley Cole?

Third Gooner

Maybe Arsenal had permission from City before the meeting?


Mourinho is a cunt, that’s the difference

Death by 300,000 Passes

Did they take a commercial flight? I think it would have been quite socially irresponsible to fly the private jet over such a short distance just for a meeting.


You’ll find that obscenely wealthy people and corporations often place expediency and personal convenience ahead of environmental or community responsibility. Shocking, I know.

Teryima Adi

My name is Bond, James Bond.😀


William Gallas says we’ll finish 2nd in the group to Sevilla. Can’t wait to hear more of his predictions.


Sevilla are crap this year. They will have to hope they can beat Lens just to make it into the Europa League playoffs.

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