New Arsenal signing Oleksandr Zinchenko has admitted that he has been a fan of the club ever since Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas played for them.
Zinchenko completed his long-awaited move from Manchester City on Friday, signing a long-term contract at the Emirates Stadium.
Speaking to the Gunners’ channels, the Ukrainian, like most of Arsenal’s signings, revealed that Henry played a role in his admiration of the club.
“First of all I would like to say this is a boyhood dream come true, because I was a massive fan when I was a kid. Since Thierry Henry and young Cesc Fabregas was playing here, I was just enjoying watching those games, that Arsenal. And obviously I started to love this club, so I am so excited and I cannot wait to play for this amazing club,” Zinchenko said.
The 25-year-old has reunited with former City assistant coach Mikel Arteta in north London, as well as forward Gabriel Jesus following his own summer move from the Etihad Stadium.
“It’s an amazing atmosphere you know, everyone is so kind, and all the staff here are amazing. I heard a lot of good things from Manchester City people about the medical staff or whatever, the guys working in the kitchen, the players and obviously Gabriel Jesus. So I heard here is an amazing atmosphere,” Zinchenko continued.
“To be honest we are close to each other and I love him [Jesus] so much. He’s my big friend and I would like to say he was also involved in the discussions and all these things, so he’s told me a lot of good things about this amazing club and about this atmosphere, and the guys and everyone here, so I’m really impressed and so excited.
“I’m always in touch with him, even when he was at City or when he left, so I was always with him.”
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On Arteta’s importance to making the switch from the Premier League champions, he added: “I would say it’s the most important role in my decision because I’ve known Mister for a while, I used to work with him at Manchester City.
“Since the first day at City I knew that he’s going to be a very good manager. The way he can see football, especially I was watching the last season of Arsenal’s games and I was really enjoying it. You can see in the style, the picture of the game, so I would love to see it [while] playing and being involved.
“The way we were working together [at City], I was so impressed because I remember how many times we were working hard in the training sessions and then straight after with individual stuff and I took a lot from the manager and I hope I can take even more.”