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Wenger was blown away by 'incredible' player eight years ago, now Arteta's reportedly trying to sign him for Arsenal

During his reign, Arsene Wenger tried to sign Oleksandr Zinchenko for Arsenal while he was still a teenager.

Manchester City man Zinchenko is now a target for Mikel Arteta, who knows him well from his time at the Etihad Stadium.

And back before the Ukrainian moved to England, Wenger tried to sign him after seeing him in youth football.

It is a running joke now, how many young talents Wenger nearly signed for Arsenal and didn’t and Zinchenko can be added to the list.

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Wenger wanted to sign Zinchenko

In February 2018, Sandor Varga, an agent close to the Arsenal manager, spoke to Sport-Express about Zinchenko.

“Arsène called me and asked me about him,” said Varga about Zinchenko.

“Shakhtar beat Arsenal in the UEFA Youth League, Wenger saw 20 minutes of him and said ‘I need this guy’.

“He asked me to transfer Zinchenko, and wanted him for the first-team straight away, not the reserves, but certain circumstances interfered.

“There was a lot of talk regarding his move from Donetsk to Russia. It’s a shame. He lost five years of his career before moving to the Premier League.”

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Perhaps Zinchenko will become an Arsenal player this summer as a 25-year-old rather than the teenager he was when Wenger wanted him.

He is an impressive technician who can play in a variety of positions, but it is just a question of whether he is keen to leave City.

Does he want to be a squad player at one of the best teams in the world, or a more key man in what Arteta is building in north London?

Zinchenko has been labelled ‘incredible’ by Pep Guardiola, but the Spaniard does not make him a first pick, often preferring Joao Cancelo at left-back.

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