Barcelona are looking for left-back options in the summer transfer window. Xavi is in search of a left-back who can give competition to Jordi Alba and become a regular in the squad for the coming years. One of the players on their wishlist is Manchester City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko. The Ukrainian international has struggled for regular game-time at the English club, appearing in only 15 English Premier League games, including 10 starts. He made eight appearances in the UEFA Champions League, with five starts in the elite competition. Zinchenko is a versatile player and can also play in the midfield. He is quick with his feet and can pass the ball well. Barcelona’s gameplay involves a lot of build-up play, and the Manchester City player showed his passing strength this season.
The 25-year-old made 23 appearances overall in the English Premier League and the UEFA Champions League. He featured as a left-back in the team. He was unable to score a goal, but he was a helping hand in six goals. When looking at the above chart, the general rule is that the longer the bar, the better the performance — you can see the league average in the middle, and the % is the percentile rank the player is in. The above chart shows Zinchenko’s passing stats in comparison to other defenders in the English Premier League. He averaged 77.47 passes per 90 minutes and had a high accuracy rate of 89.39%. The Ukrainian international attempted some dangerous passes into the attacking third to create chances for his teammates. He averaged more than three crosses per 90 minutes and made some progressive runs for his team. Overall, the full-back was rated highly amongst other defenders after featuring in 15 league matches.
Manchester City play a very high attacking line. The pass start location chart in the above viz shows the areas from where Zinchenko attempted passes in the last season. His average position was just behind the attacking third of the opposition. It can be seen that he went wide and also tried to cut inside to build up play from the middle. Zinchenko averaged 1.67 touches per 90 minutes inside the opposition’s penalty box. He attempted 12 shots but was unable to find the back of the net.
Defensively, Zinchenko made some contributions to the team and helped his side to keep six clean sheets in ten starts. He made 55 interceptions this season and averaged 4.31 interceptions per 90 minutes. Of these 55 interceptions, 19 were passes intercepted, 15 interceptions while contesting a duel, 15 interceptions when other players were on the ball, and six were the remaining interceptions. He contested 5.11 defensive duels, 2.87 aerial duels and 1.68 loose ball duels. Of these, he won 28.13% of defensive duels, 55.56% of aerial duels and 38.1% of loose ball duels. The player also averaged 10.37 recoveries per 90 minutes, and 4.31 were made inside the opposition half.
Oleksandr Zinchenko was a crucial part of Manchester City’s back-to-back English Premier League title triumphs. He has played at the top level and could become a valuable asset for Barcelona. The player is versatile and can create chances with the ball at his feet. Barcelona would likely offer a lower price or might try to sign the player on loan.