Zinchenko to Bayern: Kompany targets reunion with £35m Arsenal man

Newly appointed Bayern Munich boss Vincent Kompany is not wasting any time in making his mark on his new squad, with Arsenal left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko reportedly topping his list of transfer priorities.

According to the Daily Mirror, Kompany will try to take advantage of the left-back’s slide down the Arsenal pecking order in the final months of 2023/24.

Vincent Kompany could make Zinchenko to Bayern happen
Vincent Kompany could make Zinchenko to Bayern happen – Photo by Icon Sport

Kompany knows Zinchenko well from their three years together at Manchester City between 2017 and 2020 and could be key in transforming the way Bayern play.

Zinchenko to Bayern: Falling behind at Emirates Stadium

In 2022/23, Zinchenko felt indispensable to Arsenal. 

The Ukraine international, who joined from Manchester City in a £35m move, revolutionised the Gunners' game.

His signature movements into midfield from left-back, overwhelmed opponents with a numerical advantage in the middle and consistently carved open defences with his crafty passing.

Zinchenko was Arsenal's heartbeat in 2022/23 – Photo by Icon Sport

But 2023/24 has seen Arteta’s team evolve considerably, with a much more fluid approach to build-up that is not as reliant on Zinchenko. 

A variety of players have popped up next to whichever number six Arsenal start with. All of Martin Ødegaard, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Declan Rice and even the returning Jurrien Timber have appeared in that spot.

This approach makes Arsenal less predictable, but it has meant Zinchenko’s specialist role has been made somewhat redundant. He was benched for the last six games of the season, as Takehiro Tomiyasu was preferred.

It has also made his flaws more visible. Zinchenko is a better defender than he is often given credit for, particularly when on the front foot and in aerial duels. But he is prone to lapses in concentration, which lead to him being beaten too easily one-on-one and making positional errors.

He’s often been a scapegoat when the Gunners have lost, such as their fateful 2-0 home loss, when he was poor for both goals.

The 27-year-old is well aware of his critics and admitted on Instagram that “I completely understand that it wasn’t my best season“.

Zinchenko to Bayern: A fresh start in Bavaria?

Arsenal and Arteta are reportedly looking for a new left-back, with the likes of Rayan Aït-Nouri linked.

With Timber, Tomiyasu and Jakub Kiwior also playing at left-back, there may not be any room for the Ukrainian any more.

But there could well be a space for him at Bayern Munich.

Alphonso Davies is expected to depart the Allianz Arena, leaving the German goliaths light at left-back.

Zinchenko could join former teammate Leroy Sane at the Allianz Arena – Photo by Icon Sport

Kompany, despite his poor Premier League season with Burnley, is keen on the same kind of positional play system employed by former colleagues Arteta and Pep Guardiola.

Zinchenko, despite his drawbacks, is a master of this style of play, and would be a valuable lieutenant on the pitch for Kompany as the team adapts to his game model, as a technical and emotional leader.

Arsenal would be open to letting the left-back go if they can recoup around £25m of the £35m they spent on Zinchenko in summer 2022.

William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.