Arsenal star Oleksandr Zinchenko insists he has no bad blood towards his Ukraine team-mate Mykhaylo Mudryk, after the youngster snubbed the Gunners for London rivals Chelsea.
Arsenal made their intentions known about their desire to land Mudryk’s signature in the January transfer window and it was apparent that the feeling was mutual at both camps. The former Shakhtar Donetsk ace publicly praised both Arsenal and Arteta himself via social media, so his eventual switch to Stamford Bridge eventually raised eyebrows from many.
Mudryk is well familiar with Zinchenko through their shared time on international duty for Ukraine and even once gave an exclusive interview with the Arsenal star’s wife, journalist Vlada Sedan, where he admitted he one day dreamt of wearing the Gunners shirt.
Regardless, Arsenal and Shakhtar did not agree to a deal after months of negotiating and Chelsea swooped to beat their rivals to the signature. Todd Boehly made a bold attempt at an audacious late hijack, which worked out just fine.
While Zinchenko admitted his disappointment at how the transfer saga ended, the 26-year-old has explained offered up some words of wisdom for Mudryk in the aftermath of the move.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Zinchenko explained: “I said to him: ‘It’s gone already, it doesn’t matter what you wanted, what the other guys wanted’.
“Now you’re a Chelsea player, you signed a long-term contract and you have only one option, only one way: direct and forward. Unfortunately he didn’t become an Arsenal player – as I wanted personally! – but it’s life.”
Mudryk’s time at Chelsea has been rather underwhelming so far. His first taste of Premier League action came in the form of an impressive cameo off the bench away at Liverpool in January, but things have stalled since then.
The big money signing has just one assist to his name across all competitions in seven Chelsea outings so far.
In contrast, Arsenal’s alternative plan after it became clear Mudryk was no longer an option has worked a treat. The Gunners forked out £21m to bring the more experienced Leandro Trossard to the Emirates instead.
The ex-Brighton man has already become a fan-favourite, with one goal and six assists since his arrival and has given the Gunners the start they needed from a January addition as they aim to win the title for the first time in 19 years.