Oleksandr Zinchenko’s first words to Jakub Kiwior at Arsenal summed up the player he is.
Although Kiwior was not officially an Arsenal player, he was present at the Emirates Stadium as Mikel Arteta’s side extended their lead at the top of the Premier League. He was still spotted in the stands, however, as his new team defeated United thanks to a brace from Eddie Nketiah and a goal from Bukayo Saka.
After the game, Zinchenko, who has become something of a cult hero since joining the club from Manchester City, led Kiwior into the dressing room to celebrate with his new teammates. According to Kiwior’s agent Pawel Zimonczyk, Zinchenko decided to drag the former Spezia player unintentionally after noticing the atmosphere within the stadium.
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“Zinchenko dragged Jakub into the changing room after the game against Manchester United,” Zimonczyk told Dominik Wtorski. His entrance was unplanned, but as soon as Zinchenko saw him, he exclaimed, ‘If you’re already with us, you’re already with us.’
It was a crucial victory for the Gunners, who beat Erik ten Hag’s United late on to move five points clear of Manchester City. After Arteta’s men won their 16th Premier League game of the season, the mood in the Arsenal locker room was electric.
The Gunners’ next FA Cup match is against City, and Kiwior could make his debut following his big-money move from Spezia. The 22-year-old joined Arsenal from a number of Serie A clubs, including Juventus and AC Milan.
Kiwior said of his move to Arsenal, “When I saw my name on an Arsenal shirt for the first time, I just laughed!” I was overjoyed to see my name on the shirt of such a large club. For me, playing for such a big club is the pinnacle of my career.
“I’ve always dreamt of playing in the Premier League. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, and if I got the chance, then I knew I’d have to make the most of it because it was one of my biggest dreams. For me, it’s the best league. I’m thrilled to be here.
“It’s huge for me that Arsenal were interested and that I’m able to be here. I’m aware that Arsenal are a massive club in a top league, so I didn’t really have to think about much else. I was just ecstatic and really wanted to come.
“I love passing the ball. I like teams that move the ball and try to create chances that way. So, I’m happy that I’ve come to a team like that.”