Xhaka outlines Arsenal's aims for new Premier League season
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Arsenal are reportedly closing in on the signing of Oleksandr Zinchenko – but what shirt number could he wear for the Gunners? Zinchenko has emerged as Arsenal’s top left-back target this summer.
The Ukraine star was linked with a move to the Emirates earlier in the window. But rumours became quiet as Arsenal turned their attention to Ajax star Lisandro Martinez.
However, with Manchester United now set to sign Martinez, Zinchenko is back on the agenda for Mikel Arteta. The Mail claims the 25-year-old is set to join Arsenal in the coming days once an agreement is reached with City.
Zinchenko is set to cost Arsenal around £35million. Express Sport looks at the shirt numbers he could wear if a deal does get completed.
Zinchenko’s current number at City is 11, which Gabriel Martinelli only adopted at the end of last season. Therefore, that will not be available.
The No 12 was vacated a year ago when Willian left following a mutual termination of his contract. William Saliba has been pictured with 12 on his training kit in pre-season, though the Frenchman would likely take the No 2 officially if Hector Bellerin leaves either on loan or permanently.
Arsenal have a stacked squad and therefore the next available number is 28, unless there are any other departures. Joe Willock donned the jersey before his move to Newcastle, with Joel Campbell, Kieran Gibbs and Kolo Toure all previous occupants of the shirt.
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Matteo Guendouzi has joined Marseille on a permanent deal and will not be returning to wear the No 29. Granit Xhaka wore 29 before switching to his favourite 34.
Sead Kolasinac had his contract terminated in January, which vacated the No 31 shirt. Sol Campbell is the most famous previous occupant, during his second spell at the club in the 2009/10 season.
This could be the number Zinchenko ends up choosing. He joined City from FC Ufa in 2016 and was given the No 35 jersey.
After a loan spell at PSV Eindhoven, he maintained the number for the next two seasons. Zinchenko switched to No 11 in 2019.
Other possible options
Ainsley Maitland-Niles could leave in this window, which would open up the No 15 shirt. Nicolas Pepe, No 19, Pablo Mari, No 22, and Reiss Nelson, No 24, could also all be on their way.
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